The New York Mets handily defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 4-1 Thursday night at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.
Mets pitchers dominated Phillies hitters with 15 strikeouts, led by young starter Zack Wheeler who fanned 9 batters. Wheeler picked up just his second win on the season to improve to 2-5, while Phillies rookie David Buchanan took the loss, dropping to 1-1 after two MLB starts.
Wheeler was the star of the game, tossing 6 1/3 innings allowing just 1 run on 4 hits, walking no one and striking out 9 Phillies, at one point retiring 13 consecutive batters.
Before the game the Mets announced that catcher Travis d’Arnaud was recalled from the disabled list and therefore his replacement Juan Centeno was sent back down to AAA Las Vegas.
After neither team scored in the first inning, Mets first baseman Lucas Duda led off the top of the second with a bunt down the third baseline for an infield single. Due to Duda’s tendency to pull the ball towards right field, the Phillies over-shifted their infield to the right, leaving third base complete unoccupied. Left fielder Chris Young then singled to left and shortstop Wilmer Flores beat out an infield single to load the bases for Travis d’Arnaud. d’Arnaud grounded into a double play, but Duda scored from third while Young advanced to third giving the Mets an early 1-0 lead. Zack Wheeler then grounded out to short to retire the side.
In the bottom of the second, right fielder Marlon Byrd and left fielder Dominic Brown each struck out swinging. Catcher Carlos Ruiz then doubled to left and third baseman Cesar Hernandez reached on an infield single to short, moving Ruiz over to third. But Wheeler fanned Buchanan to end the inning. Both teams were retired in order in the third inning.
Right fielder Curtis Granderson walked to lead off the top of the fourth. Lucas Duda then skied an easy out to center. Chris Young then lined a shot over the fence in left field for a home run making it 3-0 New York. Wilmer Flores then grounded to third and Travis d’Arnaud grounded to short to retire the side. The Phillies went 1-2-3 in the bottom half of the fourth.
Leading off the top of the fifth Zack Wheeler grounded up the middle for a base hit. Centerfielder Juan Lagares then grounded into what should have been an easy force at second. Cesar Hernandez threw the ball to second but pulled second baseman Chase Utley off the bag and Wheeler was safe. Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy then flied out to right, and David Wright grounded a ball to short. Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins threw to third for the force but Wheeler was called safe and the bases were loaded. Curtis Granderson then drew a walk to bring in Wheeler extending the Mets lead to 4-0. Lucas Duda struck out swinging and Chris Young flied to left to retire the side.
The Phillies went in order in the bottom of the fifth and both teams went 1-2-3 in the sixth.
Lagares lined a double to the gap in left leading off the top of the seventh. Daniel Murphy then flied out to left and David Wright grounded to second, allowing Lagares to advance to third.
Phillies manager Ryen Sandberg then pulled David Buchanan for lefty reliever Mario Hollands. Hollands then struck out Granderson to retire the side.
First baseman Ryan Howard struck out swinging to start the bottom half of the seventh. Marlon Byrd then launched a home run off his former teammate to put the Phillies on the board, 4-1 New York.
Wheeler was then removed at 108 pitches and in came lefty reliever Scott Rice.
Rice faced only one batter, grounding Dominic Brown to second on the first pitch for out number two. Rice was then pulled for flame throwing Vic Black. Black struck out Carlos Ruiz on a nasty curveball to end the inning. The Mets failed to score in the top of the eighth and the Phillies were retired in order in the bottom half of the eighth.
Outfielder Bobby Abreu pinch-hit for Black in the top of the ninth and grounded weakly to first. Juan Lagares then blooped a single into right field. Reliever Justin De Fratus, who had just entered the game at the start of the inning, was removed and in came setup man Anthony Bastardo.
Bastardo walked Daniel Murphy but induced a groundball double play from David Wright to retire the side. Closer Jenrry Mejia came in to shut the door against the heart of the Phillies lineup. Mejia struck out Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard in order to end the game. Howard’s strikeout was his fourth of the game, giving him the dreaded golden sombrero (a term believed to be coined by former San Diego Padre Carmelo Martinez, simply meaning a batter strikes out four times in one game).
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