Sometimes, you need a pitcher that will stop streaks. Losing streaks, winning streaks, no-hit streaks, whatever, you need that guy on your side that will end whatever you need.
Today, Zack Wheeler was that guy. His team needing both innings and a win, Wheeler came up huge for the team. They were facing their own personal nemesis in Marcus Stroman, so Wheeler had to be on his game from the get-go.
The first inning looked sketchy when Francisco Lindor dinked a double in no man’s land, but inexplicably did not score on a single by Pete Alonso. That was one of the last men to reach for a few innings as Wheeler wiggled out of the jam, then set the cruise control on mid-90s.
The offense, dormant for much of this series, came alive in the second when a walk by Nick Maton and a single by Ronald Torreyes out runners on with one out. Wheeler bunted them over, but ended up on first thanks to an error. A sacrifice fly by Odubel Herrera gave them a lead, then they played some smart baseball (!) in the third when Andrew McCutchen singled and Rhys Hoskins walked, then advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Travis Jankowski. Alec Bohm ripped a ball to shortstop that Lindor stopped, but Cutch was able to score on. Nick Maton followed with a double that scored Hoskins, then scored himself on a Ronald Torreyes single. The team had a 4-0 lead, then did the smart thing: turned it over the Wheeler.
Wheeler dominated the Mets, allowing no runs and striking out eight and saving the bullpen a little bit. Though Jose Alvarado and Archie Bradley allowed a run each (and elevated blood pressures), the pair were able to hang on, preserving the win.
Wheeler was outstanding today, showing why he was paid the money he was given. The team needed it.