Feb 23, 2013; Port St Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (65) throws in the fourth inning during a spring training game against the Washington Nationals at Tradition Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

2/23 Game Recap: New York Mets beat Washington Nationals, 5-3, As Zack Wheeler Shines In Debut


In the first game of Spring Training, the New York Mets defeated the Washington Nationals by a final score of 5-3. Going into today’s game, the main headline was the debut of Mets’ top prospect, Zack Wheeler.

Highlights

  • Top pitching prospect Zack Wheeler made his Spring Training debut, and did not disappoint by any means. In two innings pitched, Wheeler allowed only one hit, one walk while striking out a pair of batters back-to-back with a runner on third base in the third inning.
  • Shaun Marcum started the game for the Mets, pitching a solid first-inning, but faltered a bit in his second and final inning of work, allowing three earned runs on three hits. Marcum also allowed a two-run homer to left-center field off the bat of Chris Snyder.
  • Ruben Tejada opened the scoring for the Mets with a two-run shot  to left field off Stephen Strasburg in the first inning.
  • Marlon Byrd, who Terry Collins believes has a chance to win a starting role in the outfield, started the game in right field and went 2-2,  hitting a double off Strasburg.
  • Zack Wheeler, Cory Mazzoni, Darin Gorski and Bobby Parnell collectively shut out the Nationals, allowing only four hits in eight innings.

Thoughts

Although it’s only the first game of Spring Training and stats don’t mean much during this time of the year, it feels good to see Mets baseball again. Furthermore, it was fantastic to see Zack Wheeler in action. I was very impressed with his performance. He seems to have a nice, easy delivery, and the ball explodes off his hand. I don’t expect Wheeler to make the team out of Spring Training (for team control and development reasons) but I’m excited to see Wheeler join the Mets at some point this season.

Collin Cowgill, who was acquired from the Oakland Athletics earlier this offseason, had some playing time and really stood out to me. Cowgill hit an RBI double off pitcher Bill Bray and made a heads-up base running play scoring from second base on Bray not paying attention after Micah Owings committed a fielding error on a ground ball hit by Omar Quintanilla in the sixth inning. Earlier this week, I mentioned Cowgill was my “most likely to break out candidate” solely because of the nitty-gitty, heads-up style of play he is most notably known for. That base running play was a perfect example of my statement.

Next game: In a split squad one group will play against the University of Michigan at 12:10pm, while the other group will play against the Houston Astros at 1:10pm.

Side Notes

  • Daniel Murphy has rejoined the team and is recovering from his strain intercostal muscle injury. Murphy has yet to swing a bat, but is expected to be back in a week or so.
  • Pedro Feliciano told reporters he has a small hole in his heart, but is nothing career threatening. Feliciano, 36, hasn’t pitched in the last two seasons, struggling from a series of major shoulder injuries.
  • First baseman Rhyne Hughes has signed a minor-league contract with the Mets. Hughes, 29, last played in the majors in 2010 as a member of the Baltimore Orioles.

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Tags: Featured Kevin Baez New York Mets Popular Spring Training Recap Zack Wheeler