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Wheeler is in control, McNeil picks up three hits as Mets tie Cardinals 1-1

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Wheeler didn’t allow a run for the second straight start.

MLB: Spring Training-New York Mets at St. Louis Cardinals Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets and the St. Louis Cardinals played to a 1-1 tie this afternoon at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. This was the second Mets game that ended in a tie this spring, and the first since February 25.

Zack Wheeler’s fourth Grapefruit League start was his best, as he blanked the Cardinals through 5.1 innings while reaching 73 pitches. He hit one batter and allowed leadoff singles in the first and fifth innings, but otherwise kept the Cardinals off the bases. He struck out four and lowered his Grapefruit League ERA to 2.25 before being lifted for Tyler Bashlor with one out in the sixth. Wheeler’s dominance continues a string of solid spring performances by the team’s five starters.

Michael Wacha was equally effective, as he scattered five hits across five innings while walking two and striking out two. After Justin Wilson gave up the go-ahead run in the bottom of the seventh, the Mets finally broke through in the eighth off Mike Mayers. Jeff McNeil led off the inning with a single and came around to score two batters later on a J.D. Davis double. The Mets loaded the bases on a Michael Conforto walk and a Pete Alonso single, but Tomas Nido grounded into an inning-ending double play. The Mets were unable to push a run across in the ninth despite a one-out double from Adeiny Hechavarria.

Some more notes from today’s game:

  • In his first appearance behind the plate since having Tommy John surgery last April, Travis d’Arnaud played five innings and went 0-for-3 at the plate. He also allowed two stolen bases to Cardinals leadoff hitter Harrison Bader. His first throw came in short, while the second went into center field. He was removed to start the sixth and replaced by Nido.
  • McNeil started in left field and contributed three hits in four at-bats to raise his Grapefruit League average to .321 and his OPS to .892.
  • Luis Guillorme got on base twice with a single and a walk and now sports a .417 batting average and a 1.158 OPS in Grapefruit League play.
  • Wilson’s rough spring continued, as he was charged with the lone Cardinals run. After allowing a leadoff triple to Jose Martinez, he settled down and retire the next two batters. He was unable to escape the inning, however, as Yairo Munoz doubled to drive in Martinez. Wilson now owns a 10.80 ERA in five innings this spring.
  • Jeurys Familia breezed through his lone inning of work in the eighth, as he set the Cardinals down in order and struck out Conner Capel to complete his outing.
  • Tim Peterson completed a scoreless ninth to secure the tie. He has yet to allow a run in six innings.

Full box score: MLB.com