NEW YORK — Tylor Megill, who started the second game without a hit in Mets history, didn’t know what he started until long after he left the mound. Drew Smith and Seth Lugo were in the coach room when the TV show tipped them off; they rushed to the dugout for the ninth. So did Joely Rodríguez, who was receiving treatment as the realization washed over him. He too returned to the field.

Only Edwin Díaz understood the situation while he was in the game, although at this point it would have been difficult for anyone at Citi Field to be caught off guard. When Díaz knocked out Bryce Harper to open the ninth inning on Friday, the crowd was already largely on their feet. When Díaz stoked Nick Castellanos, others rose from their seats. When he knocked out JT Realmuto to cap the 3-0 victory over the Phillies and the 315th no-hitter in Major League history, Díaz raised his fist, let out a shout and allowed his teammates to leave. ‘to wrap up.

“How often do you see a no-hitter?” mused first baseman Pete Alonso, who contributed a solo homer to the win. “It’s like seeing a white buffalo or a unicorn.”

Megill had never been one of them, even in Little League, but he played the biggest role in contributing to the first 15 outs. Few came easily. With his speed down and his control inconsistent, Megill needed 88 pitches to complete five innings. He walked three batters and was the beneficiary of a diving catch from Brandon Nimmo in the third inning that deprived Jean Segura of a hit. Even then, manager Buck Showalter understood that Megill, a young pitcher with workload issues, “obviously wasn’t going to finish the game.”

And so the no-hitter became even more of a unicorn, even more of a colorless buffalo. Of the 315 no-no’s at the highest level, only 17 were joint efforts. Only 27 included at least six walks. This one ticked those two alternative boxes, while also requiring more pitches (159) than any non-hitter since pitch count became a widely available stat in 1987.

For some, the combined nature of the no-hitter might detract from the accomplishment. For the Mets, who are working to build a unified team identity, this has magnified the feat.

“It’s something that [will] to be in history forever,” said James McCann, who caught all nine innings. “Whether it’s one pitcher or five pitchers, it’s not a hit. It’s just special.

From Megill, the Mets turned to Smith, who is one of seven MLB pitchers to go more than nine innings without allowing a run this season. Smith retired four of the five batters he faced and walked off to a standing ovation — his first hint that something big was going on.

Then Rodríguez, a trade acquisition in late spring, walked the first batter he saw, caused a double play on the next pitch, then brought the Mets into the eighth with the no-no intact. Rodríguez passed the ball to Lugo, a mainstay on this pitching team since 2016. He needed just five pitches to register two outs.

Finally, it was time for Díaz, who entered amid pulsating entrance music that had much of an announced crowd of 32,416 on their feet. Many wore black shirts in solidarity with the Mets, who donned their black jerseys for the first time this season.

“The best way to describe it is shaking a bottle of soda and waiting for the cap to come off,” Alonso said. “I feel like we all knew what was going to happen because all of our guys, when they got the ball, they were just turned off.”

Back at the clubhouse, after one of the most dominant innings of Díaz’s career, the Mets blasted DMX songs as they jumped in place and danced in celebration. Megill called herself “ecstatic”, while others mocked her emotionless exterior. On the other side of the road, the Phillies calmed down with platitudes, while acknowledging the greater truth that this non-hitter pointed to.

“It’s a good Mets team out there,” Harper said. “I don’t think they’re going anywhere fast.”

In that sense, this no-hitter sounded different than the one Johan Santana pitched on June 1, 2012. That no-no, the first in franchise history, provided a singular high point for a Mets team by otherwise disappointing. It also removed the story burden from Citi Field, opening the door for others to follow.

“It’s one of the highlights that we see here most often before games, after games, during rain delays, they always replay this game,” Nimmo said. “It’s something that you’re like, ‘I would like to be part of a game that they play over and over again.'”

As one of the oldest Mets, Nimmo endured a long wait, even as the club rose to prominence with one of baseball’s best young rotations. Throughout the league, 39 no-hitters have occurred after Santana’s, including efforts from 18 different teams.

Now the Mets have another one. It was unorthodox. It was weird. But it was, as Nimmo said, “one of those you’ll play over and over again.”