August 15, 2014: Wheeler and Campbell Beat Cubs

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Date: August 15, 2014
Mets starter: Zack Wheeler
Mets: 3
Cubs: 2
Winning pitcher: Zack Wheeler
Key player(s): Zack Wheeler, Eric Campbell
Key play: Campbell’s home run

The Mets faced the Cubs on a Friday night at Citi Field. The teams played the opener of a four-game series. Zack Wheeler recorded ten strikeouts and Eric Campbell hit a three-run homer to lead the Mets to a 3-2 win over Chicago.

Wheeler and the Cubs’ Travis Wood each started the game with two scoreless innings pitched. Zack yielded two singles and fanned five batters while Wood held the Mets to a single by Travis d'Arnaud. Wood drew a leadoff walk in the top of the third. Chris Coughlan fouled out to third baseman David Wright and a single by Javier Baez sent Wood to third base. On his own hit, Baez went to second via a throw. Anthony Rizzo grounded out to second baseman Daniel Murphy to drive home Wood and send Baez to third. Starlin Castro singled to score Baez for a 2-0 Chicago lead. Welington Castillo was hit by a pitch and Wheeler retired Arismendy Alcantara on an inning-ending fly ball to center fielder Juan Lagares. Wood then surrendered only a walk to Curtis Granderson in the bottom half.

Wheeler threw a called third strike past Wood to close out a scoreless top of the fourth. David Wright and Lucas Duda drew consecutive walks to begin the bottom of the inning. D’Arnaud was retired on a pop-up to first baseman Rizzo. Campbell followed with a homer to put the Mets in front by a run. Lagares singled and Wilmer Flores flied out to left fielder Coughlan. Wood then fanned Wheeler for the inning’s third out.

Rizzo drew a two-out walk in the top of the fifth. Castro went down on strikes to end the inning and Wood gave up only a single to Murphy in the bottom half. Wheeler struck out Castillo for the start of a perfect top of the sixth. Campbell walked against Wood with one out in the bottom of the inning. Cubs’ reliever Justin Grimm got Lagares to fly out to right fielder Ryan Sweeney. On the play, Campbell got caught off base and was out on Rizzo’s throw to catcher Castillo for an inning-ending double play.

Wheeler threw a called third strike past Chris Valaika to open the top of the seventh. Zack fanned pinch-hitter Justin Ruggiano for his tenth strikeout and Coughlan drew a walk. Mets’ reliever Vic Black fanned Baez to finish off the inning and Chicago’s Wesley Wright hurled a scoreless bottom half. New York’s Jeurys Familia struck out Rizzo and Castro to begin the top of the eighth. Castillo walked and Familia retired Alcantara on a foul pop-up to catcher d’Arnaud to end the inning. For the Cubs, reliever Pedro Strop pitched a scoreless bottom of the inning.

Mets’ reliever Jenrry Mejia got Sweeney on a fly ball to Lagares to start the top of the ninth. Valaika went down on strikes. Mejia then retired pinch-hitter Luis Valbuena on a ground ball to first baseman Duda for the final out of the game. The Mets had a series-opening victory.