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Wheeler Loses Due To Poor Defense, Worse Offense

Watching the game tonight, it is really difficult to assess how well Zack Wheeler performed.  On the one hand, he was executing his pitches as well as he ever has, and yet he earned the loss against a bad Marlins team.

Actually, there is a debate how much he “earned” that loss.  Really, there was just one hiccup for him, and that was in the second inning when the Marlins scored all three of their runs.

The first run was on Wheeler, who allowed three straight hard hit balls by Brian Anderson (double), Derek Dietrich, and Miguel Rojas.  After that, it’s hard to pin anything else on him.  Caleb Smith popped up a sacrifice bunt attempt, which Jose Reyes fielded on hop, looked at every single base, and then threw the ball in the dirt thereby loading the bases.

It was an awful play by Reyes, but it was a ball Asdrubal Cabrera should have been able to field.   J.T. Realmuto hit a two out two RBI single Cabrera deflected into center.

That three run lead was brutal because as Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling kept opining, Smith was dealing for the Marlins.  That is a plausible explanation considering Smith entered the game striking out 12 batters per nine.    However, it needs to be noted the Mets bats are really awful against left-handed batters.  Tonight, was no exception as Smith allowed one run on three hits over 6.2 innings.

The one run he allowed was in the bottom of the second, and it started with a Jose Bautista double.  Speaking of Bautista, he was signed just before the game, and he was put in the starting lineup ahead of Jay Bruce, and he played left field.  After the predictable Reyes out, Bautista moved to third, and he scored on a Tomas Nido sacrifice fly.

The Mets really wouldn’t get another rally started until the eighth.  Adrian Gonzalez led off the inning with a double, and later than inning Brandon Nimmo earned a one out walk.  The rally would falter there as Cabrera would hit into an inning ending 4-6-3 double play.

While disappointing, that rally was too little too late anyway.  In the top of the inning, Derek Dietrich hit a two run homer off AJ Ramos to expand the Marlins lead to 5-1.  That would be the final score on a deeply disappointing day.

Game Notes: Reyes made two errors in the game, and he now has three hits and two errors on the month.  Devin Mesoraco did not start after getting hit on the elbow with an errant swing last night.  He did pinch hit in the seventh and flew out.

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