Perhaps this is the start of a trend — Wheeler Day will bring us the happiness that Harvey Day did for a little bit and we can all be happy with that. Wheeler took the mound tonight and pitched a solid game against the Nationals, holding them scoreless through five innings and striking out three batters overall. His only real damage came in the bottom of the sixth, when the Nationals took advantage of a single and a walk — his only one issued in the game — to get two runs across the plate. A sacrifice fly and a soft liner did the deed, but overall, it was another good start for Zack Wheeler. Locating his pitches and keeping his walk rate low is a big key to his success and lately he’s been sticking to that like white on rice. Wheeler’s overall line was 6.2 IP, 5 H, 1 BB, 2 ER, 3 K. Wheeler induced nine Pedro Feliciano finished the seventh for him, and although Aardsma allowed two hits in the eighth, he got out of his self-made jam. Scott Atchison finished the game by allowing a run in a shaky ninth inning.
Of course, it’s a lot easier to pitch when your offense hands you an 8-0 lead by the end of the second inning, and the Mets were just locked in offensively the entire game. Eric Young, Daniel Murphy, Josh Satin, and Juan Lagares each had three hits, while Travis d’Arnaud picked up his second straight multi-hit ball game with a pair of singles. Each of Young, Murphy, Lagares, and Quintanilla drove in a pair of runs for the Mets in this offensive explosion, where they totaled a season-high 17 hits.
The only disappointing moment on offense came on an apparent oblique injury to Ike Davis. Hopefully Davis comes back soon, but oblique injuries can be tricky and he could miss the rest of the season.
In any case, the Mets banged out 11 runs without the benefit of a homer and handed Wheeler win his 7th win of the season as he lowered his ERA to 3.36. It wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t mention the fact that Young/den Dekker/Lagares outfield is one of the best defensive alignments the Mets have seen in a long time — and Lagares picked up an OF assist by gunning down Harper as well.
With this win, the Mets secure a series win over the Nats and look for the sweep tomorrow. Jon Niese will take the mound for the Mets tomorrow at 8:05 as he tries to build on the complete game shutout he fired against the Phillies in his last start. Newly acquired Vic Black should join our pen tomorrow as part of September call-ups.