Caleb Smith allowed one run over 6 2/3 innings to help the Marlins end the Mets' winning streak at four games with a 5-1 win on Tuesday night at Citi Field.
Things you should know about tonight's game...
1) Zack Wheeler overcame a shaky second inning to turn in a solid start for New York, scattering seven hits and allowing three runs -- one earned -- on 106 pitches in six innings. He retired 13-of-his-last-15 batters and matched his season high with nine strikeouts while issuing no walks for the first time in eight starts.
2) The Marlins tallied four hits and three runs against Wheeler (2-4) in the second. Miguel Rojas opened the scoring with an RBI single and J.T. Realmuto plated two more with a two-out base hit, his first of three hits in the game. Two of Miami's runs were unearned thanks to the first of two Jose Reyes throwing errors on the night.
3) Hours after signing with the Mets, Jose Bautista batted fifth and played left field. He doubled in his first at-bat in the second and scored New York's only run on Tomas Nido's sacrifice fly.
4) Smith (3-5) surrendered three hits and two walks while striking out eight to snap a personal two-game losing streak.
Michael Avallone, SNY.tv | Twitter |
I feel that I can basically copy and paste any postgame reaction following a Mets loss. Once again, it begins and ends with an offense that is thirsting for consistency, which is only made harder minus two of their bigger bats. To be fair, it might not have mattered much even if they were at full strength, as Caleb Smith was very impressive. The southpaw entered the game averaging more than five walks per nine innings, but he worked ahead all night and kept the Mets off-balance before using an above-average fastball to put them away. New York's offense certainly isn't anything to crow about at the moment, but it shouldn't detract from a well-pitched game by Smith.
On the opposite side was Zack Wheeler, who turned in a nice, all-around effort. His defense -- namely Jose Reyes -- contributed to his rough second inning, but the right-hander also surrendered four hits in the frame, so he wasn't without fault. However, unlike his last outing against the Blue Jays where he completely unraveled, Wheeler regained his focus and finished strong, allowing a pair of hits over his final four frames while tying his season-high with nine strikeouts.
Speaking of Reyes, he is far from the biggest problem on the team, but his tenure with the Mets really needs to come to an end. It's sad to see one of the best homegrown players the franchise has ever produced struggle the way he has, but Reyes just isn't a viable Major Leaguer at this point. Even if his offense were to come around, he is a major detriment defensively. Combine that negative with his current and year-long struggles at the plate and there is simply no justification for carrying him on the roster any longer.
Highlights from tonight's game...
News and notes...
New York's four-game winning streak ended in their first loss to the Marlins this season (4-1). They are 5-2 on their homestand with one game remaining before embarking on an eight-game road trip to Milwaukee and Atlanta.
Wheeler has surrendered two earned runs in 13 innings (1.38 ERA) with 16 strikeouts and a walk in two starts against Miami this season. He has a 6.97 ERA in his other six starts with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 31-to-16. He fell to 8-19 in 34 career starts at Citi Field, including 0-4 this year.
The Mets are 6-17 when scoring three runs or fewer in 2018. New York has scored two runs or less in 17 of its 44 games.
With 11 strikeouts Tuesday, Mets pitchers have recorded nine or more punchouts in seven straight games. That is tied for the second-longest streak in club history, set July 24-31, 2016.
Derek Dietrich's two-run homer in the eighth inning snapped the scoreless streak from the Mets' bullpen at 14 consecutive innings.
Phillip Evans was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas to make room on the roster for Bautista.
The Mets (24-20) close out their homestand and series with the Marlins (18-30) on Wednesday night at Citi Field at 7 p.m. on SNY.
Jacob deGrom (4-0, 1.75 ERA, 69 Ks, 1.01 WHIP) closes the homestand for the Mets coming off his most dominant outing of the year. The right-hander allowed one run and struck out a season-high 13 in seven innings of a 3-1 win against the Diamondbacks last Friday. DeGrom has surrendered one run and fanned 39 over 26 1/3 frames (0.34 ERA) spanning his last five outings. He is 4-4 with a 3.94 ERA in 13 career starts against the Marlins. DeGrom took a no-decision when Miami reached him for four runs in six innings of an 8-6 Mets win on April 10.
Dan Straily (2-0, 3.60 ERA, 14 Ks, 1.45 WHIP) looks to build off his most recent start, where he tossed seven scoreless innings against the Braves to earn his second consecutive win. The Marlins have won all four of the 29-year-old's starts this season. Straily is 1-1 with a 3.48 ERA in four career starts against the Mets, including a 1.76 mark in three outings last year.