20 years ago today: Phillies right-hander Tommy Greene throws no-hitter

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May 23, 1991

Making just his second start of the season, the Phillies’ Tommy Greene, a former first-round pick of the Braves with six major league victories to his credit, pitched a no-hitter against the Expos, striking out 10 and walking seven in the process.

Facing the Expos again five days later, he hurled a second straight shutout, allowing three hits, walking none and striking out nine in what could be argued was an even better performance.  He threw 130 pitches in the no-hitter, as opposed to 110 in the second shutout.

In all, Greene allowed one run over 31 innings during the month of May.  He went on to finish the season 13-7 with a 3.38 ERA in 207 2/3 innings, a total he reached despite pitching out of the bullpen for six weeks.

Unfortunately, it was one of only two healthy seasons Greene would have as a major leaguer.  After throwing 120 pitches eight times in 1991, including 136 and 133 in September outings, he went 3-3 with a 5.32 ERA in a 1992 season in which he was limited by shoulder problems.

Healthy again in 1993, he went 16-4 with a 3.42 ERA to finish sixth in the NL Cy Young balloting.  However, he was a major bust in the postseason, giving up 17 runs over 11 2/3 innings in his three starts. In his lone World Series outing, he allowed seven runs in 2 1/3 innings in Game 4.  The Phillies overcame his struggles and took a 12-7 lead in the fifth inning, only to eventually lose to the Blue Jays 15-14.

Suffering from more shoulder problems, Greene won just two major league games after 2003.  He retired at age 30 after a 1997 season spent primarily with Houston’s Triple-A affiliate.

Mets sign Jose Lobaton to minor league deal

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The Mets signed catcher Jose Lobaton to a minor league contract, the team announced Friday. The deal includes an invitation to spring training, where it’s assumed Lobaton will be in the mix for a backup role behind Travis d'Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki.

Lobaton, 33, is coming off of a four-year stint with the Nationals. He put up his worst career numbers in 2017, producing -0.6 fWAR after slashing just .170/.248/.277 with four home runs in 158 plate appearances. While he’ll give the Mets little to work with at the plate, his near-decade of experience behind the dish should make him a decent emergency option, if nothing else.

In the meantime, the Mets are expected to roll with a d’Arnaud/Plawecki platoon to start the season. Both catchers saw slight upticks in value over the 2017 season: d’Arnaud turned in 0.8 fWAR after hitting a career-high 16 home runs, while Plawecki collected 0.6 fWAR and three homers after raising his batting line over the Mendoza Line for the first time since 2015.