The Mets got another rude awakening. Former Met as Zack Wheeler pitched seven strong innings in Philadelphia’s sweep of the Mets on Sunday afternoon.
The Phillies pried Wheeler away from the Mets after offering Zack a five-year contract worth over $100 million. Wheeler showed the Mets what they have been dearly missing after pitching seven quality innings.
Porcello falters in sixth inning leading to Phillies rally
Wheeler gave up six hits and two runs while walking one and striking out four batters. He picked up his third victory of the season and helped Philly improve to 7-9 on the season.
As for the Mets, it was yet another disastrous game in which the bats went cold and the starting pitcher had one bad inning. That would be Rick Porcello. and it occurred in the sixth inning as the Mets took a 2-1 lead into the bottom half.
J.T. Realmuto would get the inning started on a ball that hit the third-base bag and carried into left field. The ball would go off of Davis’s glove and ended up being a double for Realmuto
After Didi Gregorius would fly out to right, Porcello would make a mistake pitch to Phillies rookie Alec Bohm. Bohm would hit a line drive to right field over the head of Michael Conforto, evening the score at two apiece.
Andrew McCutchen would be next for the Phillies in what would be his first at-bat after replacing Jay Bruce. Bruce left the game due to injury and McCutchen replaced him in style… McCutchen would promptly hit a go-ahead two-run home run on the first pitch he saw. That gave the Phillies a 4-2 lead.
Porcello would get the next two outs, but the damage was done. The Phillies would tack on two more runs one inning later after a Dom Smith error and Didi Gregorius single.
Wheeler keeps Mets offense in check
The only offense for the Mets would occur in the fourth inning. J.D. Davis got the inning started with a single and would move to second after a Robinson Cano one-out single. Andres Gimenez would line out to left, however, the struggling Wilson Ramos would get hit by Wheeler loading the bases.
Luis Guillorme, who entered the game hitting a tremendous .455, lined one down the third-base line scoring two to give the Mets a 2-1 lead. However, the slow-footed Ramos would be thrown out at third ending the inning and the Mets rally.
The Mets would only get two more hits the rest of the way on doubles from Robinson Cano and J.D. Davis as Zack Wheeler and the Phillies bullpen nailed down the victory.
A couple of Mets offensive streaks also came to an end this afternoon. Dom Smith had his four-game home run streak ended after homering in the last two games against Washington and the first two in Philly. Also, Brandon Nimmo had his thirty-six game on-base streak snapped as he sits in second place in Mets history, behind John Olerud’s 47-game stretch from 1998-99.
Wheeler details pre-game nerves in first game against former team
Given it was Wheeler’s first start against an organization he’d been with since 2011, the nerves were definitely rolling once the game began. “My adrenaline was going, I was out there and I got excited. But once you get out there, you have to settle those nerves and just remember it’s another game, even though you know those guys and (are) competing against them,” Wheeler said. “But like I said, you just have to calm yourself down and just go out there and just pitch.”
Wheeler was also asked whether it was a different feel facing a team he’d previously been on for a while and said that “We just treated it like another game.” He also went on to say “You’re facing your old team, you want to go out there and do well — there’s no way around it.” “It’s nothing personal against those guys, but I enjoyed my time over there made a lot of good friends, as I said, and so, it was just fun competing against them.”
Wheeler did surely enjoy facing his old club as he shut down a lineup widely considered to be top ten in baseball (unless there are men on base, haha.)
He pitched in five seasons for the Mets going 44-38 while pitching to a 3.77 ERA. Unfortunately for Wheeler, the Mets made the playoffs in the two years. At that time, he was out recovering from Tommy John Surgery.
Mets head to Miami looking for a season turnaround
After the sweep and falling to 9-14, great for last in the NL East, the Mets head down to Miami. They will look to get back on track as they play the first place Marlins, who are 9-6 on the season. Given that the Mets are only two games back of a wild card, and four in the division with 35 games to go, there is time to turn it around.
However, that time is quickly fading away and the Mets must get it going before it is too late. The Mets have now lost twelve of their last eighteen games since leaving Boston, and have looked bad on several fronts. They will look to buck the bad trends that have plagued the team and look to get on the right track as Robert Gsellman faces off against Jordan Yamamoto.