One night after enjoying a rare blowout win, the Mets were on the receiving end as Zack Wheeler was torched by the Blue Jays for six runs in four-plus innings during a 12-1 loss on Wednesday afternoon at Citi Field.
Things you should know about today's game...
1) Despite surrendering a solo homer to Justin Smoak in the first, Wheeler (2-3) struck out six and allowed one hit through three innings. The umpires called for the grounds crew to work on the soaked infield with one out in the bottom of the third which delayed the game for 18 minutes. Wheeler let up five runs on six hits and three walks over the next inning-plus. He was lifted for Robert Gsellman after allowing the first five Toronto batters to reach safely in the fifth. Wheeler allowed seven hits and three walks with seven strikeouts.
2) One night after scoring 12 runs and pounding out 16 hits, the Mets were stymied by J.A. Happ (5-3), who allowed two hits and struck out 10 over seven innings. Brandon Nimmo spoiled the shutout bid with a two-out solo homer in the ninth inning. Wilmer Flores doubled twice and Luis Guillorme singled hit for the Mets, who struck out 12 times. They scored three runs or fewer for the seventh time in their last 10 games.
3) Leading, 1-0, in the fourth, Toronto scored twice on Teoscar Hernandez's two-run homer and scored three more in the fifth, highlighted by Smoak's two-run double. The Blue Jays blew the game open in the sixth with three runs of AJ Ramos. Josh Donaldson, Smoak and Hernandez combined for eight RBIs, five hits and five runs. Richard Urena hit a three-run homer in the eighth off Buddy Baumann, who was making his Mets debut. Happ exceeded New York's offensive output by himself with two singles and a walk in four plate appearances.
Michael Avallone, SNY.tv | Twitter |
I won't focus on the continuing struggles offensively. Not when the Mets trotted out a lineup that featured Phillip Evans, Luis Guillorme and Jose Lobaton in the five-through-seven spots. With respect to those three, expecting much from the bats was a bit of a stretch, so I'll let that rotting carcass rest for a day.
A few things conspired against Zack Wheeler today. That included Wheeler himself, the weather, a quirky schedule and an umpiring crew that was surely mandated by the league to play the game at any cost. Whether or not this played a part in his struggles, it was a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde performance for Wheeler. He allowed one of the first nine batters he faced to reach safely (Smoak's homer). Following the delay, nine of 12 reached safely, Wheeler was knocked out and the rout was on.
I'm sure the delay threw off his rhythm, but there is no excuse for such a thing to completely derail a start to the extent it did. The stuff is there for Wheeler, but as is often the case, his command and consistency desert him. His ERA is now pushing six (5.92) through seven starts, which is not what he or the Mets had in mind. That leash around his neck is probably beginning to chafe.
The Mets are now 9-18 since their 11-1 start, so we've gone beyond the scope of simply a bad stretch. That's a month's worth of horrific play which includes, almost unfathomably, zero back-to-back wins in that span. As a baseball fan for nearly 40 years, I am having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that a team could go this long without winning consecutive games ... even by mistake.
Highlights from today's game...
News and notes...
New York is 2-10 in its last 12 games at Citi Field after opening the season winning six of seven.
The Mets lost to the Blue Jays for the first time in 13 games at home (9-0 at Shea Stadium, 3-1 at Citi Field).
New York fell to 3-10 in May while being outscored 70-36. Starting pitchers have limited New York to two runs or fewer in 21 of the last 27 games.
The Mets were shut out seven times last season.
Wheeler is 0-3 with a 9.57 ERA in three starts at Citi Field this season and 8-18 with a 5.31 ERA in 33 career starts at home. He's 15-8 with a 3.13 ERA in 40 road starts.
Guillorme singled in his first at-bat in his first Major League start to become the first Met since Steven Matz in 2015 to begin his career 3-for-3. He finished 1-for-3.
Yoenis Cespedes was placed on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to May 14 with a strained right hip flexor. Evans was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas and started in left field. He struck out in all three at-bats.
The Mets (20-19) are off Thursday before beginning a three-game series against the N.L. West-leading Diamondbacks (25-17) on Friday night at Citi Field at 7 p.m. on SNY.
Jacob deGrom (3-0, 1.83 ERA, 56 Ks, 1.04 WHIP) opens the set for New York coming off a 45-pitch, one-inning start in his return from the disabled list. He will carry a 19 1/3-inning scorless streak into his ninth start of the season as he looks to start 4-0 for the first time in his career. DeGrom has faced Arizona once in his career and that came in 2015 when he allowed two runs over seven innings while striking out 10 to pick up the win.
Zack Godley (4-2, 4.08 ERA, 43 Ks, 1.42 WHIP) carries a three-game winless streak into his ninth start of the year in the series opener. The right-hander has surrendered four or more runs four times in 2018, including three times in his last four starts, during which he has a 5.09 ERA. Godley was winless in two starts against the Mets last year despite surrendering three earned runs in 11 innings (2.31 ERA). He is 1-1 with a 2.25 ERA in four career appearances (three starts) against New York.