It was a battle of the one-time can’t miss prospects when Zack Wheeler and Dylan Bundy faced off in an afternoon game at Citi Field. It was a nail-biting, close game that eventually saw the Mets fall to the Orioles 1-0 in their sixth straight loss.
Wheeler made his fourth straight start going at least six innings, and gave the Mets a really fine start to build off of. Only once did Wheeler allow more than one baserunner per inning, and Wheeler appears to have found ways around his two biggest knocks against him: his control and his pitch count. Wheeler threw 93 pitches over seven innings, and likely only came out of the game because the Mets had two runners on with two outs in the bottom of the seventh.
Unfortunately for the Mets, Bundy looked almost as good as Wheeler did. Bundy gave up just three hits, doubles to Asdrubal Cabrera and Kevin Plawecki, and a single to Wheeler. The only real trouble that Bundy got into was in the bottom of the seventh inning. After recording the first two outs, the Plawecki double and an intentional walk to Adrian Gonzalez led to Wheeler being pulled for pinch hitter Jose Bautista.
Bautista continued his high-OBP performance on the Mets thus far, drawing a walk to load the bases. However, the rally was cut short with an Amed Rosario strikeout, ending the inning. It’s been that kind of
week month season for the Mets.
Jeurys Familia entered in the eighth inning, and gave up an infield hit - and borderline error - to Pedro Alvarez. Craig Gentry pinch ran for Alvarez and stole second base ahead of the throw from Plawecki. After a line out to right field, Adam Jones singled to center, putting runners on the corners with just one out and Manny Machado coming to the plate. With second base open, the Mets decided to pitch to Machado, who promptly plated Gentry with a sacrifice fly.
Richard Bleier came into the game for the O’s, and gave up a lead-off hit to the suddenly cold as ice Brandon Nimmo. However, that was quickly erased by a popped up bunt by Cabrera, which led to Nimmo being doubled off first base. A weak pop out by Conforto ended the eighth.
Robert Gsellman then entered the game for the Mets, and hit the third Oriole of the game - Joey Rickard - in his first batter faced. However, Gsellman picked off Rickard, erasing the HBP, and then struck out the last two batters he faced.
Todd Frazier, on his second day off of the disabled list, stroked a lead-off single in the bottom of the ninth off closer Brad Brach. A long fly ball by Jay Bruce gave the fans at Citi some hope, but fell just short of a game-winning home run. A Plawecki fly out and a Gonzalez ground out finished out yet another miserable day at Citi.
The Mets have tomorrow off, and will return Friday night against the Yankees. Jacob deGrom will start for the Mets, and go against whoever the Yankees decide while stymie the Mets’ bats.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Zack Wheeler, +43.9% WPA
Big losers: Jay Bruce, -21.4% WPA, Asdrubal Cabrera, -16.6% WPA, Adrian Gonzalez, -11.5% WPA, Kevin Plawecki, -10.9% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Todd Frazier’s single to right field, +13.3% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Asdrubal Cabrera’s pop-out bunt, -20.4% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +25.6% WPA
Total batter WPA: -75.6% WPA
GWRBI!: Manny Machado