Mets pitcher Tylor Megill (38) throws to first base for...

Mets pitcher Tylor Megill (38) throws to first base for the out on Bryson Stott during the second inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, April 12, 2022, in Philadelphia.  Credit: AP

PHILADELPHIA — Tylor Megill is taking his Jacob deGrom fill-in assignment awfully seriously. 

In the Mets’ 2-0 win over the Phillies on Tuesday night, Megill pitched a lot like the injured ace, contributing another scoreless outing to maintain his 0.00 ERA across two starts (10 1/3 innings). 

He shut Philadelphia down for 5 1/3 frames, allowing three hits, walking none and striking out five. He also was able to sustain his career-best season-opener velocity — and then some — by averaging 96.7 mph with his fastball, a jump reminiscent of the one deGrom has taken in recent years. 

“He’s in a good place right now, trying not to overthink it,” manager Buck Showalter said. “Slide him in there and pitch again. He’s really serving in a time of need, too, with a couple of our pitchers down.” 

Or as Megill characterized his recent success: “It’s a blast.” 

His Opening Day contribution, five scoreless against the rebuilding Nationals last week, was impressive and all. But this was different. The Phillies are expected to be competitive on the strength of a loaded lineup, featuring a top five of Kyle Schwarber, J.T. Realmuto, reigning NL MVP Bryce Harper, Nick Castellanos and Rhys Hoskins — a string of hitters that Showalter before game said would be part of a larger test for Megill, especially now that he is in the rhythm of the season and not in “come-to-the-rescue mode where they’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.” 

Expectations are increasing for the 26-year-old righthander, and for another night he matched them. That bunch went 2-for-10 with a double and three strikeouts against Megill. 


“I think he answered it, huh?” Showalter said. 

Unsolicited, Showalter referenced more than once in his postgame news conference that the Mets want to monitor Megill’s innings totals after his career-high 130 last year. That and early-season pitch limits coming out of a shortened spring training is why he pulled him after 76 pitches and 18 batters (exactly twice through the lineup). 

Consider it a hint that he is a piece of the Mets’ 2022 plans even though he ostensibly is just deGrom’s substitute for now. 

“We had to get Tylor out of there, keeping in mind where his innings might get to,” Showalter said. “We want everybody around for as long as we can play.” 

Brandon Nimmo popped a solo home run — his first of the year — to rightfield in the fifth inning against Zack Wheeler, who managed to get through 4 2/3 innings on 65 pitches despite a 27-pitch first. 

The Mets added a key insurance run in the eighth when Nimmo walked and Starling Marte replaced him at first after a fielder’s choice. Marte stole second and scored on Francisco Lindor’s single to right. 

“That’s a good win for us in the early part of the season,” Showalter said. “After last night, a lot of guys would’ve pulled the dirt in and said woe is me. Of course, it starts with the pitching.” 

It ended with pitching, too. Chasen Shreve (three outs), Drew Smith (five outs) and Edwin Diaz (three outs) finished it off, avoiding the meltdown fate the bullpen suffered the previous two days. 

Despite not hitting the ball out of the infield, the Phillies brought the potential winning run to the plate in the form of Hoskins with two outs in the ninth. Diaz, on his first day back from the bereavement list following the death of his grandfather, struck him out to end it. 

That was the eighth swing-and-miss Diaz got on 15 sliders. He struck out the side. 

“My slider was working really good today,” he said. “I kept pounding my slider away, away, away. They kept swinging. Why change?”

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