The New York Mets (66-78) shellacked the Miami Marlins (57-87) by a score of 13-0 at Citi Field late Wednesday night.
Zack Wheeler was absolutely dominant, allowing just one hit and throwing only 57 pitches through the first six innings. After the Mets’ 7-run inning, Starlin Castro led off the 7th with a single, ending Wheeler’s streak of setting down 12 batters in a row. Bryan Holaday struck out swinging before Brian Anderson singled to put runners on first and second with one out. Derek Dietrich popped a ball straight up by the backstop which Tomas Nido misplayed, earning himself an error for prolonging the at-bat. Dietrich would capitalize, lining a single to right field.
With the bases loaded and up 13-0, the Mets played the infield back. Luckily, Lewis Brinson hit a hard ground ball to third baseman Jose Reyes who gunned it to second to start the inning-ending 5-4-3 double play.
After eight shutout innings and just 89 pitches, Wheeler had a shot at not only a shutout, but a “Maddux,” a shutout completed with less than 100 pitches. However, he was removed for some reason (probably a bad one), and Paul Sewald came in for the 9th inning and pitched a scoreless frame, allowing a single and striking out two.
Wheeler’s final, dominant line: 8.0 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 0 BB, 7 K. He featured an outstanding curveball this evening which he seemed to rely on at times. At that to a repertoire that already includes a plus fastball, plus slider, and plus change-up, and it’s no wonder why he’s been one of the best pitchers in baseball since the All Star Break. Wheeler improves his record to 11-7 with a 3.20 ERA and 3.18 FIP across 29 starts and 175.1 innings.
The Mets got things going in the second inning when Dominic Smith and Jose Reyes hit back-to-back doubles to lead off the inning and give the Mets a 1-0 lead. Smith got lucky, though, as he misread Reyes’ ball to the right-center field gap and would have been a dead duck at the plate if not for a botched relay by J.T. Riddle and Starlin Castro. Tomas Nido then hit a scorcher that was olé’d by third baseman Brian Anderson for an error, scoring Reyes. After a successful sacrifice bunt by Zack Wheeler, Amed Rosario struck out looking.
With two outs, Jeff McNeil socked an RBI triple to center field for his second hit of the day (he had a single in the first inning). Both hits beat the defensive shift the Marlins put on him. He now has five triples in 170 plate appearances. Only five Mets (Mookie Wilson, Darryl Strawberry, Jeromy Burnitz, Steve Henderson and Ty Wigginton) recorded more in their rookie seasons, all having had many more plate appearances. Michael Conforto would ground out to the pitcher to end the inning.
After a quiet third inning, Jose Reyes lined a single to begin the fourth. After Nido flew out, Zack Wheeler singled to right to put runners on first and third. Amed Rosario then demolished a ball into the second deck down the left field line to give the Mets a 6-0 lead.
The Mets put another threat together in the 6th inning. Jose Reyes led off the inning and was called out on strikes on a pitch that was five inches off the inside corner. He went back to the dugout after an argument before Tomas Nido singled to right field. Zack Wheeler then knocked a single, his second hit of the day. Then while Amed Rosario was at the plate, a cross-up led to a passed ball allowing the runners to advance to second and third.
The Marlins brought the infield in and Rosario hit it right to the shortstop, and when the runner at third held, he was thrown out at first base. With two outs, Jeff McNeil socked a base hit (his third of the day) to score Nido from third. Wheeler could have scored, but with a 7-0 lead, Glenn Sherlock smartly opted to hold him at third base. Michael Conforto then walked to load the bases for Jay Bruce who hit a wall-scraper Grand Slam to give the Mets a 11-0 lead.
The Mets weren’t done yet, though, as Brandon Nimmo scorched a worm-burner past Derek Deitrich at first base for the Mets’ fifth hit of the inning. Dominic Smith then lifted a two-run home run over the hit-it-here lottery sign to give the Mets a 13-0 lead. Already, at this point in the game, every Met in the starting line-up had scored at least once.
After a pitching change, Tomas Nido (the 11th batter of the inning) struck out to end the seven-run frame.Marlins pitcher Ben Meyer, who started the frame and ended up throwing over 40 pitches, allowed seven runs — Only one of which was earned. His ERA increased from 7.79 to 8.00 despite allowing seven runs in 2/3 of an inning.
After a five-hour rain delay, the second game of tonight’s double header was rescheduled to be part of a double header Thursday at Citi Field starting at 3:10 PM. Game two will start 20 minutes after the conclusion of the first game. The probables are Jason Vargas and Steven Matz, though the starters have yet to be announced.