Feb 21, 2013; Port St Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (65) poses for a picture during photo day at Tradition Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
The Mets went ahead 2-0 in the first on a bases loaded walk and a run scoring ground out that should’ve been a double play. Those runs were given right back by the Mets in the bottom of the inning, when a 1 out error from Daniel Murphy turned the inning upside down. After the error, Carlos Gomez grounded a run scoring double down the first base line and Aramis Ramirez lofted a sac fly to left to even things at 2.
In the second, the Mets plated three runs to go ahead 5-2. The first run came on an infield hit by Ike Davis, and the next two came courtesy of a single off the bat of Kirk Nieuwenhuis. In the fourth, the Mets added two more runs on a single by Kirk Nieuwenhuis and an error by Aramis Ramirez that allowed Ike Davis to score. The Brewers played horrid defense all night and were a mess on the bases, and the Mets took full advantage of Milwaukee’s futility.
Zack Wheeler allowed the Brewers to cut the lead to 7-3 in the bottom of the fourth when he served up a long solo homer to Juan Francisco. In the bottom of the fifth, Wheeler faced a bases loaded, one out situation with his pitch count approaching 100. He bore down, and induced a pop up from Jonathan Lucroy and struck Juan Francisco out looking at a slider to escape the jam and end his night on a high note.
The Mets headed into the top of the ninth with a 9-5 lead and Bobby Parnell warming up in the pen, but they plated three runs to make it 12-5 and close out the scoring. That allowed Parnell to stay in the pen while Josh Edgin finished the victory.
- In his 4th career start, Zack Wheeler tossed 5 innings and allowed 3 runs (1 earned) on 7 hits. He walked 3 and struck out 3.
- Ike Davis was 3 for 5 with a walk in his return to the majors. His first hit was a dribbler, but his next two were ropes to right field. He very easily could’ve reached base in all 6 of his plate appearances. He was called out on strikes in the 6th inning on what should’ve been ball 4, and laced a ball to right field in the 7th that was caught.
- Kirk Nieuwenhuis became the first Met in 13 years (Mike Piazza in 2000) to reach base 6 times in a 9 inning game without the benefit of an error. He went 4 for 4 with 2 walks, drove in 5 runs and scored 3.
Zack Wheeler wasn’t dominant tonight, but he was more composed and in control than he was during his last two outings. His command was still off, which is to be expected with the change he’s made to his delivery, but he held his own. After giving up two unearned runs in the first, Wheeler was able to work around his wildness, often inducing swings and misses and weak contact. The biggest moment for Wheeler came in the fifth inning. After he loaded the bases with one out, he was one bad pitch away from being removed from the game. Instead, Wheeler buckled down and induced a pop up for the second out. He then went to his slider on a 1-2 pitch to freeze Juan Francisco for the third out.
Ike Davis looked very good in his return. Aside from his lower half, nothing has really changed with his stance. However, he looked more comfortable at the plate. He wasn’t chasing bad pitches, and he hit line drives in three of his plate appearances. He finished with three hits, two walks, and will hopefully use tonight as a springboard.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis had a hell of a night, as he reached base in all six plate appearances. He was putting great swings on the ball and flying around the bases all night on his way to a 4 for 4 game.