A solid outing by Zack Wheeler was ruined in the late innings last night by a series of Mets miscues. A dropped pop-up by Jose Reyes in the eighth inning followed by an Andres Blanco RBI two-out ground-rule double off of Jerry Blevins tied the game at two runs apiece. That score held until the tenth inning when Rafael Montero entered the game. Montero was charged with four runs, three earned, and wound up with the loss. He only recorded one out.
What separates a good pitcher from an average one is how he is able to limit the damage in games where he lacks his best control. Wheeler showed the league last night that despite being away from baseball for two seasons, he is in fact good. Wheeler did not have his best stuff, yet he left the game in line for a win, with only two blemishes to show.
The first blemish was a first inning curveball that caught a little too much of the plate. Odubel Hererra was able to drive the pitch over the right field fence to take an early 1-0 lead.
The Mets immediately answered back in the bottom of the first as Michael Conforto drew a leadoff walk and was later singled home by Jay Bruce. During the next at-bat, Yoenis Cespedes scored on Zach Eflin’s wild pitch. That score of 2-1 held until the aforementioned, never-ending eighth inning.
The second blemish on Wheeler’s night was his inability to limit his pitch count, a problem that has plagued him for the entirety of his career. He left the game after throwing 99 pitches through 5 innings, in which he allowed only one run on four hits. He also tallied seven strikeouts and two walks. The Mets really could have used a longer outing from Wheeler last night due to the state of the overworked bullpen, even coming off of an off-day.
The Mets offense was non-existent last night, compiling just four hits despite facing a starting pitcher in 23-year-old Zach Eflin who was making his first start of the season in place of the injured Clay Buchholz.
Other plays of note included a fourth inning double from Jose Reyes to raise his season’s batting average to .100. Josh Smoker turned in another scoreless inning of relief, allowing one hit while striking out two. Addison Reed also pitched a flawless ninth inning, picking up two strikeouts in a tie game.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Zack Wheeler +16.9%, Addison Reed +12.8%
Big losers: Rafael Montero -45.9%, Jerry Blevins -15.5%, Travis d”Arnaud -12.3%
Teh aw3s0mest play: Jay Bruce’s RBI single in the first inning, +13.6%
Teh sux0rest play: Andres Blanco’s game-tying ground-rule double in the eighth inning
Total pitcher WPA: -17.8%
Total batter WPA: -32.2%
GWRBI!: Daniel Nava