Things you should know about tonight's game...
1) Zack Wheeler allowed seven runs and eight hits -- including three home runs -- with two strikeouts in two innings during his second consecutive poor start.
2) Despite falling behind 7-0, the Mets homered four times off Clayton Kershaw -- two by Jose Reyes. Gavin Cecchini hit his first Major League home run and Jay Bruce slugged his 19th of the season.
3) Rafael Montero allowed one run and struck out five in 3 2/3 innings of relief. Since being recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas last Wednesday, the right-hander has surrendered one run, three hits and two walks with eight strikeouts in 6 2/3 frames over two appearances.
4) Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger homered in each of his first two at-bats, giving him five multi-home run efforts and 21 long balls in his first 51 games, a Major League record. He and Justin Turner drove in four runs apiece to support Kershaw, who allowed four home runs in one game for the first time in his career.
Post-game reaction from Michael Avallone...
So on a night when the Mets legitimately pound the best pitcher in baseball...they lose. Not that this is surprising considering what's gone on this year for New York, but I digress.
The game seemed all but over a mere 15 minutes in, as the Dodgers scored four runs before an out was recorded in the bottom of the first against Wheeler, who was bludgeoned for the second consecutive start. It's a shame, as these last two outings have undone pretty much everything the right-hander had accomplished over the previous seven weeks.
After a few uneven performances to start the season, Wheeler was basically the Mets' best starting pitcher from the end of April through early June. His velocity is still in the mid-90s, but his location has been terrible in these past two starts, and the results have yielded a 67.50 ERA. A slump? A dead-arm phase? A combination of the two? Probably. Remember, he's now in his third month of pitching after not doing so for more than two years...so a blip was expected. Though this is quite a blip, to be sure.
While fans often think this way, the players certainly don't -- at least I hope not -- but considering the Mets were facing Kershaw, tonight's game was heavily tilted in the Dodgers' favor to begin with. In a way, the result was predictable and easier to take, in a way. But in typical Mets fashion, they turned an off night by the best of the best into an afterthought because of their own pitching woes. It's just been the way of it all season. >> To follow Michael on Twitter, click here.
Highlights from the game...
News and notes...
New York has dropped four of five after winning five of six.
The Mets have gone deep 35 times in their last 17 games and have hit 58 of their 104 homers on the road.
Bruce is batting .343 (24-for-70) with seven roundtrippers and 13 RBIs in June.
Reyes' solo homer in the third produced his 469th RBI as a Met, moving him past Keith Hernandez into ninth place on the club's all-time list. His ninth career game of two-or-more home runs was his first multi-homer effort since last July 10.
After allowing two runs or less in six of his last seven starts, Wheeler has surrendered 15 runs, 14 hits and five homers over 3 2/3 innings in his last two outings. He became the first Mets starter to pitch two innings or fewer in consecutive starts since Randy Jones in 1982.
The Mets (31-38) continue their four-game series with the Dodgers (45-26) at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday night at 10:00 p.m. on SNY.
Robert Gsellman (5-4, 5.50 ERA, 1.54 WHIP) tries to rebound from one of his worst starts of the season. After posting a 2.16 ERA in his four previous starts, the 23-year-old was tagged for seven runs and a season-high 11 hits in five innings during Thursday's 8-3 loss to the Nationals. The Santa Monica native has never faced Los Angeles.
Brandon McCarthy (5-3, 3.14 ERA 1.10 WHIP) hopes to snap a personal three start winless streak. The 33-year-old has won just twice in his last five starts despite a 1.91 ERA. McCarthy allowed one run and three hits over 5 1/3 innings but earned a no-decision in his start last Wednesday against the Indians. The right-hander is 0-2 with a 3.55 ERA in two career starts against the Mets, although he has not faced them since 2014.