Nonetheless, Rea was pretty good, becoming the second young pitcher to virtually shut down the Mets in the past three games, this one a 5-3 decision. Braves second-year starter Matt Wisler held the Mets to one hit in eight scoreless innings on Tuesday.
The key to Rea’s success was his cutter, which he threw 24 times and netted six outs. He didn't allow a baserunner with the pitch. He threw 16 of the 24 for strikes, good for a season-best 67 percent strike rate.
Rea, 3-1, was lifted after eight innings. He gave up one run on three hits and struck out five.
Ray was helped Thursday by his defense and a little good fortune. The Mets had three balls that video review determined to be hard-hit in the first eight innings and the Padres turned each one into an out. The most notable of those came in the third inning, when Jon Jay retreated to make a terrific catch to retire Curtis Granderson.
The Mets also missed out on some pitches that were there to be hit. They went 0-for-5 in at-bats ending with pitches over the middle-third of the plate, both width-wise and height-wise (in other words, over the heart of the plate).
This wasn’t the first time a Padres pitcher took a no-hitter deep into a game against the Mets. Odrisamer Despaigne threw 7 2/3 innings against them on July 20, 2014.
There’s also a memorable game from 1970, in which the Padres had a no-hitter through eight but trailed 1-0. Starting pitcher Clay Kirby was hooked after eight innings and reliever Jack Baldschun allowed three hits. The Mets ended up winning 3-0.
Rea was bidding to become the first pitcher from Iowa to throw a no-hitter since Hall of Famer Bob Feller threw one for the Indians on July 1, 1951. Coincidentally, July 1 is Rea’s birthday. He was born on July 1, 1990, the same day Andy Hawkins pitched eight no-hit innings for the Yankees and lost to the White Sox, 4-0.