NEW YORK -- Just eight days from now it is unknown whether Zack Wheeler will be in a Mets uniform, but the starter showed up to Citi Field on Tuesday evening and delivered another quality start, his 10th this season. Wheeler's consistently strong outings make him a valuable trade piece for the Mets as they approach the non-waiver Trade Deadline.
Wheeler went seven innings in a 6-3 win over the Padres, allowing just two earned runs and striking out three. After he gave up the only two runs he allowed in the third frame, Wheeler then retired the next 12 batters he faced.
Mets manager Mickey Callaway describes Wheeler's approach as a "here-you-go-hit-it" mentality on the mound. Wheeler, who missed the 2015 and '16 seasons due to Tommy John surgery, said he was able to use the time off to watch and learn from good pitchers and how they attack hitters.
"They got quick outs and pitched deep into games, and that's what I've been really trying to do lately," Wheeler said. "It's a lot easier when you have better command, which I've had this season."
Unlike Monday night, the Mets got off to a quick start offensively, scoring three runs in the first inning on a double to left field from Devin Mesoraco that cleared the bases.
Two more runs would follow in the third when Michael Conforto crushed a two-run home run to right-center field. Conforto, who has recently started to heat up, is 7-for-13 with six RBIs in four games since the All-Star break.
The final Mets run was scored in the fourth inning, when Amed Rosario roped a triple to right field and Asdrubal Cabrera knocked him in the next at-bat.
After the game, Wheeler was asked about this potentially being his last game with the Mets.
"Yeah, it crossed my mind," Wheeler said. "I'm not going to lie, but at the same time you can't really do anything about it and you go out there and pitch and you get a win, and I was able to do that tonight."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
It has been no secret that Conforto has struggled against left-handed pitchers in his career. Over the last month he has improved his at-bats against lefties, and on Tuesday the outfielder hit a two-run shot off Padres starter Eric Lauer.
Callaway says Conforto has been working hard at hitting left-handed pitching, and is now starting to feel more comfortable in the box against southpaws.
"Michael Conforto is the kind of talent -- doesn't matter if it's left or right -- he needs to be playing every day, and we're seeing that Michael right now," Callaway said.
Rosario hit his sixth triple of the season and his fourth in his last 10 games. Rosario has 10 triples since his Major League debut on Aug. 1, 2017, which is tied for third most in the Majors in that span.
HE SAID IT
"To be honest, ever since I started catching Zack, he's been good. So that's the only Zack that I know. He's logged a lot of innings, he has four capable pitches, he can throw it by guys, he doesn't walk guys. I don't know anything other than, man, Zack Wheeler's pretty good. -- Mesoraco, on Wheeler
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
With two outs and the bases loaded in the third inning, Padres outfielder William Myers dropped an RBI single into left field to plate Austin Hedges. Manuel Margot came home on the play as well, but was ruled out at the plate. After Margot was called out, Mesoraco quickly threw to third base where Phillip Evans tagged out a jogging Carlos Asuaje with ease. San Diego challenged the play at the plate and it was ruled that Margot was safe, but called Asuaje out at third, therefore ending the inning but still giving the Padres a second run.
The explanation of the rule was that "the runner attempting to advance to third base was unaffected by the incorrect call and was tagged by the fielder." More >
Corey Oswalt will take the place of Noah Syndergaard in the rotation for Wednesday's tilt against the Padres at 12:10 p.m. ET at Citi Field. Syndergaard was placed on the 10-day DL with hand, foot and mouth disease on Sunday. Oswalt will appear in his sixth game with the Mets this year and has gone 0-2 with a 6.11 ERA in four starts. Clayton Richard will start for San Diego.