Mets' Luis Severino talks no-hit bid, how his approach to pitching has evolved

On the two-year anniversary of the Mets' combined no-hitter, Luis Severino nearly recorded the third no-no in franchise history.

The 30-year-old starter tossed seven no-hit innings in Monday's 3-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs, giving up his only hit in the eighth inning. Severino finished after 8.0 innings, allowing one run on one hit with two walks, a hit-by-pitch, and five strikeouts. After the game, the righty was asked if he felt at any point during the game that he had something special going.

"First pitch of the game," Severino joked. "I was feeling good, even in the bullpen. Fastball, the command was outstanding, you know even the breaking pitch, the sweeper."

After a broken-bat single to Dansby Swanson in the top of the eighth broke up the no-hit bid, Severino said he tried to stay locked in on getting the victory.

"I mean for me there, after that, I was just thinking about winning the game," Severino said. "I was just thinking, 'OK, it's over. So let's get a good game here, throw good pitches, and get out of this inning.'"

He added that he and Tomas Nido "were on the same page all night" and the sinker that Swanson hit was thrown in the exact spot they hoped. Severino has a 1.80 ERA in 30.0 innings over five April starts, and was asked if he feels like he's back to pitching consistently at a high level after two major injuries and a down 2023 season.

"I think so, I feel very good," Severino said. "I think before, when I was a little younger, I was thinking too much about striking everybody out. Right now I'm just focused on getting people out, getting deep in the games. I'm in a different position right now, for me, it's more important to throw innings than striking everybody out. So I feel very good."

Severino was then asked what it felt like to receive a standing ovation from the Citi Field crowd when he walked off the field in the eighth inning.

"That's the thing about New York, if you're doing good, you're gonna get something like that. If you're doing bad, you're gonna get a lot of boos," Severino said. "They are straight to you and I like that kind of thing about the fans. Every time I go out there and I do my job, it's gonna be like that."

Outfielder Branon Nimmo, who delivered the team's only run of the night on a solo homer in the first, praised Severino's performance and said that when he's locating his pitches, "he's really tough to hit."

"I think he was locating his pitches really well," Nimmo said. "Obviously, we know he has nasty stuff. When he locates well and is able to stay on his game plan and execute, then he's really tough to hit. Just felt like he was really in a good rhythm and seemed like he had it just from the beginning."

Nimmo added: "When he got through the sixth I felt good, felt good about where he was, his pitch count. Everything was just lining up right. Right around the sixth inning is when I was excited for him."

Even manager Carlos Mendoza, who had seen Severino pitch during their time in the Bronx together, said that this was "one of those outings" for Severino.

"It's pretty close," Mendoza said. "It's probably as good as I've seen him. Especially using his fastball, in out, up down, it was electric. It was one of those outings that you're going like, 'This is the Sevy that I know.'"

Severino's outing made it two straight games the Mets starter went 8.0 innings, as Mendoza made a savvy move to leave Jose Quintana in the game Sunday and get through the inning. He noted that it's "really encouraging" to see the team's pitchers go deep into games.

"It's really encouraging," Mendoza said. "Like you said, two outings back-to-back when guys are going eight innings and it's a complete game with the way they were pitching. We were talking about getting length out of our starting pitchers, and the last two nights we've gotten that. It's important."