The Mets may be nearly 20 games behind the Atlanta Braves in the NL East, but it is still nice to beat them. That was the case Monday night at Citi Field, with Zack Wheeler pitching very well once again.
The Mets jumped out to an early lead. Eric Young led off the game by reaching on an error — Andrelton Simmon’s throw on a ground ball sailed over the first baseman’s head. Young then stole second, advanced to third on a ground out and scored on an Ike Davis single.
It was Young again in the sixth sparking a rally. He led off with a bunt single. Daniel Murphy followed with a single. The Mets attempted a double steal — Brian McCann threw to second and his throw ended up in the outfield. Young scored on the error to make it 2-0. The incredible Marlin Byrd then hit a two-run home run to make it 4-0. It was Byrd’s 21st homer of the season, a career high.
The Braves finally broke through against Wheeler in the seventh. With two outs Pete Janish doubled. Pinch hitter Terdoslavich and Jason Heyward both walked to load the bases. That was all for Wheeler, who gave way to Carlos Torres. Simmons then made up for his error, hitting a bases-clearing double to cut the Mets lead to 4-3.
Wheeler went 6.2 innings, allowing three runs on six hits. He struck out five batters and walked three. He raised his record to 6-2.
Ike Davis added a huge insurance run in the eighth with a monster shot deep into the upper deck in right to make it 5-3. Travis d’Arnaud collected his first major league hit later in the inning, a double to left-center.
LaTroy Hawkins came on for the save and the Mets win 5-3.