The Good Stuff:
- Whatever New York did to try to psyche out Matt Cain, it worked. Big time. The Mets scored three runs in the 1st inning, two from John Buck's bases-loaded single, and knocked last year's All-Star starter out after just two outs. A wild Cain walked three batters and gave up two hits on 36 pitches, only half of which went for strikes.
- The immediate lead was just what the doctor ordered for Zack Wheeler, who breezed to the easy victory against pre-Beltran team. Wheeler went seven innings for the first time as a big-leaguer, allowing a single run on three hits and three walks, striking out five on 101 pitches. Zack had himself a no-hitter going for 11 outs; no Matt Harvey, but pretty darn good.
- Wheeler got additional run support in the 5th and 6th inning when San Francisco longman Matt Kickham ran out of juice:
- Marlon Byrd line a two-run home run over the wall in right center, good for his 15th homer and 49th RBI of the season, which lead the team. Pretty good for a $700,000 man.
- The 6th inning became the story of Gregor Blanco's shallow play in center field. John Buck led off with a line drive that went over Blanco's head and ended up with a double. After Omar Quintanilla struck out, Wheeler himself delivered a liner over Blanco's head, resulting in Zack's first extra-base hit and RBI. Daniel Murphy then sent him home with a double down the left field line that almost took out the security guard again. Touchdown, 7-0 New Yorkers.
- The 7-spot gives the Mets 21 runs for the three-game set, and everyone in the starting lineup got on base at least once this afternoon.
- LaTroy Hawkins gave up a triple to Brandon Belt in the bottom of the 9th, and Tony Abreu's sac fly made it 7-2.
Warm up the cable cars, we're sweeping up the town! Zack Wheeler lived up to his billing and unlike pitchers of past got some run support behind a one-run gem.
Since Kirk Nieuwenhuis knocked Carlos Marmol out of Chicago, the Mets have been winning at a 16-9 clip, sport a not-good-but-better 40-48 record, and are unbelievably within single digits of the second NL Wild Card. Hey, the '73 Mets were doing even worse at this point, and look where they ended up. Ya Gotta Believe!