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Severino finds his old form and takes a no-hitter into the 8th inning for the Mets at Citi Field

 The Associated Press  |    Apr 30th, 2024 12:58am EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — After carrying a no-hitter into the eighth inning, Luis Severino was asked when he knew this could be a special night.

“First pitch of the game,” the New York Mets starter said with an easy laugh. “I was feeling good, even in the bullpen. Fastball, the command was outstanding. Even the breaking pitches. Sweeper in the bullpen was really good, too.”

Making his sixth start with his new team, a dominant Severino held the Chicago Cubs hitless Monday until Dansby Swanson singled on the right-hander’s 89th pitch with nobody out in the eighth.

Swanson connected on an 0-2 sinker clocked at 97 mph, sending a soft liner over shortstop into shallow left-center for a clean base hit. His run at a historic performance over, Severino received a standing ovation from a Citi Field crowd of 25,046 that included actor and comedian Bill Murray, a noted Cubs fan.

“That’s the thing about New York: If you’re doing good, you’re going to get something like that. If you’re doing bad, you’re going to get a lot of boos,” Severino said. “So I know they’re straight to you and I like that kind of thing about the fans. So every time I go out there and I do my job, it’s going to be like that.”

Chicago went on to win 3-1, but Severino completed the eighth and strolled off the mound to another exuberant ovation with the score tied 1-all. He struck out five and walked two, allowing just one hit while throwing 68 of 101 pitches for strikes.

“That’s probably as good as I’ve seen him, especially using his fastball,” said Mets rookie manager Carlos Mendoza, a New York Yankees coach when Severino was pitching in pinstripes.

“In, out, up, down — and it was electric. So yeah, it was one of those outings that you’re going like, OK, this is the Sevy that I know.”

It was the longest outing for Severino since he went eight innings against Tampa Bay on June 16, 2018. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he also matched the longest no-hit bid of his career — seven innings at Texas on Oct. 3, 2022.

A two-time All-Star during his first eight major league seasons across town, Severino was coming off the worst year (4-8 with a 6.65 ERA) of his injury-interrupted career when he signed a $13 million, one-year contract with the Mets last December.

He has found his form in Queens, though, compiling a 2.31 ERA in 35 innings.

“I feel very good. I think before when I was a little younger, I was thinking too much about striking everybody out,” the 30-year-old Severino said. “Right now, I just focus on getting people out, getting deep in the game. So as of right now, I think I’m in a different position right now. For me, it’s more important to throw innings than striking everybody out.”

Severino’s bid came on the second anniversary of the second no-hitter in Mets history, when starter Tylor Megill and four relievers combined to beat the Philadelphia Phillies 3-0.

Johan Santana threw the franchise’s first no-hitter on June 1, 2012.

“He was locating his pitches really well. Obviously, we know he has nasty stuff,” Mets outfielder Brandon Nimmo said about Severino. “And so when he locates well and is able to kind of just like stay on his game plan and execute, then he’s really tough to hit. So, just felt like he was really in a good rhythm and it just seemed like he had it right from the beginning.”

Severino was locked in a speedy duel with Cubs starter Jameson Taillon, who needed only 78 pitches to get through 7 1/3 terrific innings. The first 6 1/2 innings were played in 71 minutes, and the entire game took just 2 hours, 5 minutes.

“It was fun going back and forth there,” Taillon said. “Quick innings.”

A two-out walk to Ian Happ in the fourth was Chicago’s only baserunner until Severino plunked Mike Tauchman with a 2-2 sweeper leading off the seventh.

Michael Busch drew a leadoff walk in the eighth and scored the tying run on a broken-bat grounder, when the Mets tried unsuccessfully for an inning-ending double play behind Severino.

“He was so good,” Swanson said. “Especially throwing hard, but like, somehow his ball had like, even extra life than just the velocity.”

Severino gave New York its second consecutive start of eight innings after no Mets starter even reached the seventh through the team’s first 26 games.

“He was dealing,” said closer Edwin Díaz, who gave up Christopher Morel’s two-run homer that broke the tie in the ninth. “That’s on me today.”


AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

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The Associated Press