Mets 4, Padres 1
In just his 11th big league start, Zack Wheeler joined some
pretty good company in the New York Mets’ record book.
How about Nolan Ryan and Pedro Martinez good?
Wheeler struck out a career-high 12 in six innings, and Marlon
Byrd had a two-run double to lead the Mets to a 4-1 victory over
the San Diego Padres on Thursday night.
With his performance, Wheeler matched those two aces as the only
Mets to strike out at least 12 in six innings or less.
”Early in the game Zack was working both sides of the plate
real well,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. ”He had great
movement on his fastball today and got some balls in the corner. He
made some good big pitches. They had to hunt the fastball and he
got some good swings on off-speed stuff that was the difference
especially his slider.”
Byrd lined a two-out double over a hesitant right-fielder Chris
Denorfia’s head in the eighth inning, Mets outfielders saved two
runs with outstanding plays and New York snapped a three-game
Mets left-fielder Eric Young Jr. saved a homer by leaping above
the wall and knocking the ball back onto the field in the third
inning. Center fielder Juan Lagares then threw out a runner at home
plate in the fifth.
Byrd doubled off reliever Luke Gregerson (5-7), who had
intentionally walked the left-handed hitting Daniel Murphy to pitch
to the righty Byrd. Gregerson hit pinch-hitter Mike Baxter with a
pitch. Baxter stole second before Murphy was walked.
Denorfia made his first step in on Byrd’s hard-hit ball. He then
hesitated and never recovered as the ball sailed over his head.
Scott Atchison (3-1) got the victory by pitching a scoreless
John Buck added his 15th home run, a solo shot off Padres
reliever Tim Stauffer in the ninth. It was his first homer in 96
Rookie Gonzalez Germen pitched two scoreless innings for his
first career save. He struck out three of the Mets’ 15 Ks
Both starting pitchers, Wheeler and the Padres’ Tyson Ross, were
Wheeler allowed one run on seven hits. He walked one and threw a
career-high 115 pitches, 73 for strikes.
”I was keeping my pitch count low early in the game, but after
the third or fourth inning I got a little carried away and tried to
strike some people out,” Wheeler said.
Ross also allowed a run. He worked seven innings and yielded
five hits. He struck out eight without walking a batter and threw
109 pitches, 74 for strikes.
”He held his stuff for seven innings, all the things you look
for,” Black said.
The Mets took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth. Murphy
singled to left leading off. He went to second on a hit-and-run
groundout by Ike Davis. With two outs Josh Satin hit a slow roller
that shortstop Ronny Cedeno barehanded and threw to first. The
throw appeared to be in time, but first base umpire Brian Knight
ruled that first baseman Yonder Alonso had pulled his foot off the
Murphy never stopped running as Alonso thought that he had made
the last out and headed for the dugout while Murphy came all the
way around to score.
The Padres tied the game in the bottom of the fourth. They
loaded the bases on singles by Chase Headley and Denorfia
sandwiched around a walk to Alonso. With one out Jaff Decker hit a
sacrifice fly to left scoring Headley.
In the third, Rene Rivera hit a ball that was out of park in
left field but Young leaped at the wall and the ball his glove and
the top of the wall before laning on the outifeld turf. Rivera
raced in for a triple.
Wheeler then struck out Ross and Will Venable to strand Rivera
”Whenever I needed to I made the pitches that I had to,” said
Wheeler. ”I was able to throw off-speed pitches over for strikes
and it worked out well for me.
Padres manager Bud Black was impressed with Wheelers.
”A good young arm, good delivery,” Black said. ”The ball came
out with great velocity. The kid’s got a good arm. I was very
impressed with his stuff, his delivery, the way he went through
In the bottom of the fifth with runners on first and second and
two outs, Alonso hit a line drive to center field. Lagares fielded
the ball and threw one hopper that catcher John Buck grabbed and
just tagged a sliding Ross for the final out of the inning.
Lagares also made a diving catch on Jedd Gyorko’s liner in the
eighth with a runner on.
NOTES: Venable extended his hitting streak to a career-high 12
with a single in the fifth. … Mets fill-in closer LaTroy Hawkins
was not available Thursday after getting his in the groin on a
comebacker in Los Angeles on Wednesday. … Padres OF Carlos
Quentin, out since July 31, got a second opinion on his right knee
Thursday at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic Clinic in Los Angeles.
Results of the tests were unavailable. … Padres C Nick Hundley,
who went on paternity leave on Thursday, became a father for the
first time when his wife Amy gave birth to a girl earlier in the
day. … The Padres called up Chris Robinson from Triple-A Tucson
to take Hundley’s place on the roster. … Padres RHP Jason Marquis
was moved from the 15- to the 60-day disabled list on. Marquis
underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery on his right elbow on
July 30. … The Mets and Padres continue their four-game series
Friday with New York’s RHP Jenrry Mejia (1-3, 2.22 ERA) scheduled
to pitch against the Padres RHP Edison Volquez (8-10, 5.80).