Zack Wheeler was good tonight, but not good enough to defeat the Washington Nationals, as the Mets fell 5-2.
Coming off of a strong season debut, Wheeler was looking to build off of that start to defeat the rival Nationals. Facing a much more difficult lineup, Wheeler struggled a little bit. He allowed three runs over six innings pitched, with two of the runs coming in the fourth inning. What made this a quality start for Wheeler however was his ability to escape tricky situations. Many times he was backed into a corner with runners on base, but he was able to pull himself out of the gutter.
The offense of the Mets was disappointing tonight, with both runs scoring via the sacrifice. One was an Asdrubal Cabrera sacrifice fly to center, the other was a Yoenis Cespedes ground out. Both runs came in the fifth inning. There was a head scratching move made by manager Mickey Callaway when it came to pinch hitting.
With runners on the corners in the bottom of the sixth inning, Callaway called Jose Reyes up to bat. This was a questionable move, as Michael Conforto, Adrian Gonzales, and Brandon Nimmo were ready on the bench. My Gut Reaction to this move by Callaway is that he has not yet adjusted to the role of manager so far, and is not used to working with pinch hitters. He probably used Reyes to try to get him out of his funk, but that strategy back fired as Reyes struck out in ugly fashion.
Out of the bullpen, Robert Gsellman continued the trend of the bullpen being ineffective. He allowed two runs over two innings, and looked flat for the first time this season. On the brighter side, Gerson Bautista made his major league debut, pitching a scoreless ninth inning.
After dropping the first two games of the series, it goes without saying that the Mets need to win tomorrow. If they drop tomorrow’s game, the progress they made down in Washington D.C will be erased.