By Jason Schott - Associate Editor - @JESchott19 on Twitter
Zack Wheeler threw his first career shutout to lead the Mets to a 1-0 win over the Marlins in Miami on Thursday night, a great start to their four-game weekend series.
Wheeler went the distance, allowing no runs on just three hits, 1 walk, and he struck out 8. It was by far Wheeler's best outing of the season, as he had tremendous control, throwing 70 of his 111 pitches for strikes. He improved to 3-7 and lowered his ERA to 3.93.
Wheeler faced one over the minimum, and said of that,"Anytime somebody gets on, whether it be a walk or hit, you just try to make a pitch and get a double play. I was able to do that,"
Mets Manager Terry Collins said of Wheeler, "He showed you exactly what we've been talking about all along -- plus stuff. Tremendous, great effort. He went after them. It was his night."
The only run of the game came in the top of the first when David Wright hit his sixth home run of the year. That was all the Mets got off Miami's Andrew Heaney, who went six innings, allowing a run on four hits, 1 walk, and he struck out three.
The Mets had a great scoring chance in the seventh against Miami's Bryan Morris. With one out, Curtis Granderson singled and Chris Young doubled. Taylor Teagarden grounded out for the second out. Morris then walked Ruben Tejada intentionally to load the bases with the pitcher, Wheeler due up next. Wheeler grounded out softly to third base to end the inning.
Wheeler faced the minimum 24 batters through the first eight innings, and it was possible because he got three double plays to get out of the second, when he allowed a single to Casey McGehee; the fifth, when he walked McGehee; and the sixth, when he allowed a single to Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
In the ninth, Wheeler struck out Saltalamacchia swinging, and he complained to the umpire a little as it looked like he held up. Adeiny Hechavarria then pooped out to Eric Campbell at first base for the second out. Pinch-hitter Reed Johnson singled to left field to keep the inning alive. Wheeler then retired Rafael Furcal on a routine fly ball to center field to end it.
Marlins catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia said of Wheeler, "He didn't miss over the plate much. He was really good with locating his pitches off the plate. He threw a lot of fastballs, like we expected, but he didn't leave anything over the plate. You've got to tip your cap to a guy who pitched a great game."
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