Game 8: NY Mets @ Atlanta Braves
ATLANTA - Zack Wheeler had a rude awakening early in his return to the field where he got his start last summer.
In fact, it occured on the first batter he faced. Not getting strike 3 on a 2-2 count, Wheeler continued dealing to Jason Heyward, who kept fouling his attempts. Then Heyward made perfect contact with the 11th pitch he saw, and took it deep to put the Braves immediately in front 1-0.
Wheeler was able to calm down, but became unglued in the 5th inning when the Braves torched him for three runs, eventually chasing him from the game.
The Mets hitting woes crept back as Ervin Santana dealt an eight inning masterpiece where he struck out six, walked none and surrendered only three hits. It was only once the Braves went to the bullpen when they were able to generate any runs, scoring three runs in the 9th inning off relievers Jordan Walden and Craig Kimbrel before Kimbrel was able to get Ruben Tejada, Tuesday's main hero, to strike out with the tying run 90 feet away at third base.
Flat Tire: After starting 3-0 against the Atlanta Braves, Zack Wheeler suffered his first loss against the team he grew up cheering for as as child. In his two losses this year, Wheeler has struck out 12, but has given up 15 hits and seven earned runs, allowing his ERA to blossom to 5.73.
Here Today, Gone Tomorrow: Ruben Tejada, who drove in two runs and scored two himself, went empty on Wednesday, going 0-for-4 and striking out once, but that one strikeout came at a major juncture as the tying run in the top of the ninth inning was 90 feet away when he struck out to end the ballgame.
Dud: Lucas Duda went 1-for-4, but struck out twice and left four on base.
Mendoza: After eight games, the Mets have batted a collective .190, with four of the nine starters on Wednesday batting under the .200 mark.
Rubber Match: Jenrry Meija gets the ball from Terry Collins in the Thursday rubber match. He gave up only one run in six innings pitched as the Mets squeaked by with the 4-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Friday. He'll be opposite David Hale, who picked up a no-decision on Friday against the Washington Nationals. He only struck out four in his five innings pitched, but kept the Nationals off the board.
Pregame coverage begins at 6:30pm Thursday on 1230 FOX Sports Radio.