Wheeler struck out 12 Padres in six innings of work and Marlon Byrd's two-run double in the 8th put the Mets over the top in their 4-1 win on Thursday night.
The Good Stuff:
- Zack Wheeler put on his best Matt Harvey face, allowing a run on seven hits in six frames with a walk and a dozen strikeouts (also like Harvey, the offense got nothing behind him and he didn't factor into the decision). The single walk was Wheeler's only free pass in his last two starts.
- Tied 1-1, Mike Baxter pinch hit to lead off the 8th and did what Baxter does best: get on base, this time via a hit-by-pitch. After stealing second, San Diego elected to walk Daniel Murphy intentionally to bring up Marlon Byrd. Big mistake: Byrd lined a double to the wall in right, scoring both runners and make it 3-1.
- John Buck's solo homer in the 9th added one more run for a cushion and made Gonzalez Germen's 9th inning job easier; the save he earned was the first of his career.
- Scott Atchison tossed a 1-2-3 7th to vulture the W.
- Eric Young went 0-4 as his struggles continued; Young is batting .180 since the All-Star Break.
The two biggest things holding Zack Wheeler back in his first couple months in the majors were his lack of control and lack of a putaway pitch. He seems to have found them. Watch out, National League.