This game will forever be known as “Zack Wheeler Night.” The righty not only delivered the best pitching performance of the season, but he also hit his first career home run and a double. Wheeler never gave the Phillies a chance, striking out seven batters in a row at one point en route to a 7-inning, 11-strikeout, 0-walk, 5-hit, 0-run performance. He looked like the Wheeler we saw in the second half of 2018, humming along with power, control, and a great mix of pitches. And this time, he brought his bat.
Wheeler’s two-run double put the Mets on the board in the second inning and his fourth inning home run extended the lead to 4-0 and knocked Phillies starter Zack Eflin out of the game. In the bottom of the fifth, Todd Frazier stepped to the plate with the bases loaded. After reliever Drew Anderson fell behind 3-0, Frazier reluctantly took a fastball right down the middle to put the count at 3-1. When Anderson threw the exact same pitch, Frazier’s eyes lit up and he belted the ball over the left field wall for a grand slam to put the game out of reach. This was the first grand slam for the Mets this year. Wilson Ramos drove in an insurance run in the sixth to bring the score to 9-0.
Luis Avilan and Jacob Rhame took over in mop-up duty and preserved the shutout. For once, the Mets didn’t have to burn the meat of their bullpen. Good thing, because they’re going to need it tomorrow with Jason Vargas scheduled to make the start.