NEW YORK -- After a 5-hour, 35-minute rain delay, Zack Wheeler finally took the mound on Wednesday at 9:45 p.m. ET. He threw eight shutout innings, not fazed by the weather or anything else around him.The starter was impeccable on the mound in the Mets' 13-0 win over the Marlins
NEW YORK -- After a 5-hour, 35-minute rain delay, Zack Wheeler finally took the mound on Wednesday at 9:45 p.m. ET. He threw eight shutout innings, not fazed by the weather or anything else around him.
The starter was impeccable on the mound in the Mets' 13-0 win over the Marlins at Citi Field. Wheeler scattered just four hits and struck out seven, plowing through the Miami lineup. Wheeler is now 9-1 in his past 11 starts. His ERA in that span is second best in the Major League, trailing only teammate Jacob deGrom.
The right-hander had a chance at a "Maddux" -- a complete game using less than 100 pitches -- but was pulled from the game after just 89.
Mets manager Mickey Callaway said that coming out was ultimately a decision made by Wheeler and that the starter looked like he was tired.
"I was at the park for 12 hours today," Wheeler said. "I really would've liked to finish it, but I was tired and after throwing 88 innings or whatever it was last year, I figured it would be kind of smart to let somebody else get the ninth."
New York's offense came alive after the delay, scoring plenty of runs to support Wheeler.
Dominic Smith and Jose Reyes got things going in the second inning with back-to-back doubles that brought in the first run. An error from the Marlins and a triple from Jeff McNeil gave the Mets two more runs to give New York an early lead.
In the fourth inning, Amed Rosario crushed a three-run homer into the second deck in left field, extending the Mets' lead.
In the sixth inning the Mets put on a show for the faithful fans that stayed and endured the rain. Jay Bruce launched a grand slam and Smith added a two-run blast to right-center field.
"The challenge is to get back up going after you've sat for so long," Callaway said. "You have to wait six hours and all of a sudden you have to turn on like a switch, and they did a pretty good job of it tonight."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Of the four hits Wheeler allowed Wednesday, three came in the seventh inning. With the bases loaded and one out, Wheeler escaped the jam by getting Lewis Brinson to ground into a double play to end the threat and keep his scoreless night intact.
Wheeler won his MLB-leading eighth game since the All-Star break. His eight second-half wins are tied with Bartolo Colon (2016) for the most by a Mets pitcher since 2002.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
After Reyes got on base with a single and Wheeler, who went 2-for-3 on the day, moved him to third with another single, Rosario stepped up to the plate in the fourth inning. On the first pitch of the at-bat Rosario demolished the ball, sending it to the second deck in left field on a foggy night at Citi Field.
HE SAID IT
"The competitor in me wants to go out there and throw nine every game, but maybe the smart move is ... we aren't going anywhere right now, so I want to be ready for next year and I just want to play it smart, especially with my history. If we're contending, I'm going back out there for sure." -- Wheeler, on coming out after eight scoreless innings
One of the Mets' most successful pitchers of late, Steven Matz owns a 2.25 ERA with 31 strikeouts over his past four starts, spanning 24 innings. He'll put that run of success on the line when he takes the hill in Game 1 of New York's doubleheader Thursday at Citi Field. Matz will start opposite rookie right-hander Sandy Alcantara, and Jason Vargas will face off against Jeff Brigham in Game 2.
Erin Fish is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York.