Zack Wheeler threw perhaps the best game of his short career Thursday night in San Diego as the Mets beat the Padres to snap their three game losing streak.
The Mets broke a scoreless tie with two outs in the fourth when Josh Satin was ruled safe on a grounder to short. He might have been out, but it appeared that first baseman Yonder Alonso was pulled off the bag. Daniel, Murphy was on second base, and he just never stopped running and scored.
The Padres tied it up in the bottom of the inning on a sacrifice fly.
San Diego nearly took the lead in the fifth. With runners on first and second with two outs, Alonso singled to center. Opposing pitcher Tyson Ross motored to the plate. He beat the throw from Juan Lagares but his slide was bad — he never got his front foot down and John Buck was able to tag him out to end the inning and keep the game tied.
Meantime Zack Wheeler is starting to show why he is so highly regarded. After taking a big step last week in Arizona, Wheeler was dealing tonight. He struck out seven Padres in the first three innings and ended up with a career high 12, the most since he struck out seven in his debut. He only walked one batter, which has been a problem for him. Wheeler had to be removed from the game after six innings because he threw 115 pitches, also the most he has ever thrown. He got a no decision but lowered his ERA to 3.43.
Ross also pitched well, and the Mets finally broke through against his replacement, Luke Gregerson, in the eighth. Pinch hitter Mike Baxter was hit by a pitch and stole second. Daniel Murphy was intentionally walked to face Marlon Byrd. That was a bad idea because Byrd drove a pitch to deep right to plate two to give the Mets a 3-1 lead.
John Buck added an insurance run with a solo homer in the ninth to make it 4-1.
With LaTroy Hawkins’s penis still ailing, Terry Collins needed Gonzalez Germen to pitch a second inning in relief. He was up to the task, earning the first save of his career.
Mets win 4-1.