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Zack Wheeler throws eight scoreless, Mets score thirteen runs

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Wheeler was great, and the Mets had no trouble scoring runs.

MLB: Game Two-Miami Marlins at New York Mets Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

After a lengthy rain delay that turned a scheduled doubleheader into just one game that began fairly late last night, the Mets cruised to victory as Zack Wheeler went eight scoreless innings. The Mets scored thirteen runs, too, to make things extra easy.

Wheeler needed only 89 pitches to get through those eight innings, and he seemed pretty likely to get the shutout if he had pitched the ninth. But after the game, Mickey Callaway and Wheeler himself told reporters that he had been tired and told the coaching staff that he was done for the night. If you were still up watching this game, knowing that in real time might have saved a little bit of outrage.

But even at eight scoreless innings, the start made Wheeler’s recent number even better. Over his past nine starts, dating back to July 29, he has a 1.18 ERA. And in nineteen starts since the beginning of June, he now has a 2.37 ERA. If this is who he is now, or even if he’s anything close to this, Wheeler has the ability to change what the Mets look like heading into 2019—assuming he stays healthy. He absolutely can’t turn the team into a contender alone, but to have gone from a borderline major league starting pitcher to that level within the span of a calendar year would be a very nice thing.

As for all those runs, the Mets scored three in the second, with one each scoring on a double by Jose Reyes, an error by the Marlins’ third baseman, and a Jeff McNeil triple. They tacked on three more when Amed Rosario, who has been red hot at the plate, hit an absolute bomb of a home run to left field in the fourth.

And in the seventh inning, the Mets turned a big lead into a monstrous one, with McNeil driving in another run, this time with a single, Jay Bruce hitting a grand slam, and Dominic Smith hitting a two-run home run.

In total, the Mets scored thirteen times on fourteen hits. Everyone who was in the starting lineup, including Wheeler, had at least one hit and scored at least one run—with Wheeler notching two hits and two runs scored. Bruce led the way with four RBIs thanks to the grand slam, and McNeil had the highest hit total with three in his five at-bats.

Paul Sewald got the ninth inning in relief of Wheeler and didn’t allow any runs.

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What’s WPA?

Big winners: Zack Wheeler, +20.7% WPA, Jose Reyes, +11.5% WPA, Jeff McNeil, +10.9% WPA
Big losers: none
Teh aw3s0mest play: Jose Reyes doubles to score Dom Smith in the second, +10.1% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Brandon Nimmo grounds out in the first, -4.1% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +20.7% WPA
Total batter WPA: +29.3% WPA
GWRBI!: Jose Reyes