Zack Wheeler is starting to get a reputation for himself as a pitcher who owns the Atlanta Braves. The fire-balling rookie right-hander originally from the Atlanta area picked up his third win of the season against his hometown team as he pitched shutout ball into the seventh inning and propelled the Mets past the Braves 5-3. Wheeler (6-2, 3.49 ERA) improved his record to 3-0 with a 2.89 ERA against the Braves on the season. He is the only pitcher to defeat the Braves three times on the year.
The Mets opened up the scoring in the bottom of the first when Ike Davis drove in Eric Young Jr. with an RBI single. From there, Wheeler took over. He was able to consistently get his fastball over for strike one and kept the Brave hitters off balance with his off speed stuff.
The Mets (58-66) would strike again in the bottom of the sixth and Young would be the catalyst yet again. He led the inning off with a bunt single and advanced to second on a Daniel Murphy single. The Mets then put on a double steal and Braves catcher, Brian McCann, threw the ball into left field while trying to get Young at third. Young scampered home and Murphy advanced to third on the error to give the Mets a 2-0 lead. The next batter, Marlon Byrd, sent a 403-foot home run into the left field seats to give the Mets a 4-0 lead.
The home run was Byrd’s career-high 21st homer on the season and his second in as many days. If Byrd isn’t named the NL’s Comeback Player of the Year, there is something flawed with how that award is decided.
Wheeler got the first two outs in the top of the seventh but ran into trouble. After giving up a double and a walk, he was one strike away from getting the third out against Jason Heyward and escaping the seventh inning with the shutout in hand. Wheeler, however, walked Heyward and was then taken out after throwing 114 pitches on the evening. Carlos Torres replaced Wheeler and promptly allowed a base clearing double to Andrelton Simmons to bring the Braves within one at 4-3.
Wheeler’s line ended with three runs on six hits, five strikeouts and three walks over 6.2 innings. In past starts, manager Terry Collins has commented on how Wheeler needs that extra push to get big outs and escape troublesome innings late in his starts. Wheeler needs to be able to get those big outs as he progresses into a dominant major league pitcher.
Ike Davis hit a moon-shot home run in the eighth to put the Mets up 5-3. It was his first game with multiple RBIs since July 26. LaTroy Hawkins came on to secure his fifth save of the season in Bobby Parnell’s absence.
The Mets and Braves head back out to Citi Field this afternoon as the Mets look to sweep the two-game mini series. Jon Niese (5-6, 4.25 ERA) takes on Alex Wood (2-2, 2.61 ERA). First pitch is set for 1:10.
You can meet Doc Gooden! Sports Fan Promotions is providing fans with an opportunity to meet legendary New York Yankees and New York Mets pitcher Doc Gooden on Thursday, August 22 from 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. The event is being held at Locker Room Sports, 76 Main St. in Woodbridge, NJ 07095. Autographs are just $25 for any item, with inscriptions for $10!
Gearing up for the fantasy season? Try weekly fantasy football games this year at DraftDay.com. DraftDay has awarded over $15 million to fantasy fans like you, so don't miss out on the newest way to play fantasy football! Create your free account and use promo code GIFT for an instant cash bonus.
- Zack Wheeler Impresses in Debut as New York Mets Defeat Atlanta Braves 6-1
- Zack Wheeler Improves to 4-1 as New York Mets Defeat Atlanta Braves 7-4
- Zack Wheeler Set to Make Major League Debut Tuesday Against Atlanta Braves
- Zack Wheeler Dominates Former Team as New York Mets Defeat San Francisco Giants 7-2
- Marlon Byrd’s Eighth Inning Homer Propels New York Mets Past Colorado Rockies 3-2
Short URL: http://sport-ne.ws/zel