|4:10 PM PT5:10 PM MT6:10 PM CT7:10 PM ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 PM MST6:10 PM EST6:40 PM VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 PM CT, August 6, 2019
Citi Field, Flushing, New York Attendance: 27,479
Soaring Mets again face sinking Marlins
When Zack Wheeler took the mound at Citi Field on July 26, the New York Mets were eight games under .500, and most of the 33,776 fans in attendance thought it was the last time they'd see the right-hander pitch for the Mets at home.
But Wheeler will be back on the Citi Field mound Tuesday night for the Mets, who are in a playoff race nobody could have envisioned just 11 days ago.
Wheeler will look to keep the good times rolling for the Mets when he starts the third game of a four-game series against the Miami Marlins. Wheeler (8-6, 4.45 ERA) is scheduled to oppose Jordan Yamamoto (4-2, 3.94) in a battle of right-handers.
The Mets completed their stunningly quick ascent to a winning record Monday by sweeping a doubleheader from the Marlins. New York earned a 6-2 win in the opener before riding three seventh-inning homers to a come-from-behind 5-4 win in the nightcap.
The Mets fell a season-high 11 games under .500 with an 8-4 loss to the Marlins in the first game following the All-Star break on July 12, but they are a baseball-best 17-6 since then to improve to 57-56. It is the third time in franchise history that New York has gone from at least 10 games below .500 to over .500 in the same season (1973 and 2001).
With the surge, the Mets have vaulted into fifth place in the wild card race, 2 1/2 games behind the co-leaders, the Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies. New York was seven games out of a playoff spot and tied for eighth place in the race for the second wild card when Wheeler took the mound in what everyone thought was an audition for contenders interested in acquiring the impending free agent.
Instead, the Mets held on to Wheeler and traded for Marcus Stroman, and now there's no hotter team in baseball.
"We're striving towards our goal," Mets manager Mickey Callaway said Monday night. "I don't think the guys have ever wavered on that. As tough as it's been sometimes, they've always come every single day to accomplish our main goal. And we're getting closer. We still have a long, long way to go, but it's fun."
The doubleheader was decidedly less enjoyable for the Marlins, who have lost four straight and six of seven.
Manager Don Mattingly lamented his decision-making in the fateful seventh inning, when Miami blew a 4-2 lead as he tried to coax right-hander Jeff Brigham through the frame. Brigham gave up the back-to-back game-tying and go-ahead homers to left-handed hitting Michael Conforto and right-handed hitting Pete Alonso.
"That is one that's kind of hard to swallow," Mattingly said. "Guys get back in that game, it's tough to lose that one."
Wheeler earned the win in his most recent start last Thursday, when he gave up four hits over seven scoreless innings as the Mets beat the Chicago White Sox, 4-0.
Yamamoto didn't factor into the decision last Thursday, when he allowed four runs over six innings in the Marlins' 5-4, 12-inning win over the Minnesota Twins.
Wheeler is 6-2 with a 1.95 ERA in 12 career starts against the Marlins. Yamamoto has never faced the Mets.
--Field Level Media
Updated August 6, 2019