June 18, 2013: Wheeler Wins Major League Debut

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Date: June 18, 2013
Mets starter: Zack Wheeler
Mets: 6
Braves: 1
Winning pitcher: Zack Wheeler
Key player(s): Zack Wheeler, Anthony Recker, Omar Quintanilla
Key play: Recker’s home run, Quintanilla’s two-run single

The Mets faced the Braves in a day-night double header on a Tuesday in Atlanta. After winning the opener of the twinbill, the Mets aimed for a sweep in the nightcap. Zack Wheeler recorded a win in his major league debut as the Mets came away with a 6-1 victory.

Wheeler and Braves’ starter Paul Maholm each started the game with six scoreless innings pitched. Zack recorded seven strikeouts and gave up four hits while his teammates came up empty despite six hits against Maholm. Leading off the top of the seventh, Josh Satin hit a single to right field. Anthony Recker followed with a home run to give the Mets a 2-0 lead. Juan Lagares grounded out to shortstop Andrelton Simmons and a single by Omar Quintanilla ensued. Wheeler went down on strikes on a failed bunt attempt. Maholm then retired Collin Cowgill on a fly ball to center fielder B. J. Upton for the inning’s third out.

Warming up for the bottom of the seventh, Mets’ reliever Scott Atchison injured himself and was replaced by Brandon Lyon. Pinch-hitter Jordan Schafer greeted Lyon with an infield single to lead off the inning. Simmons singled and Jason Heyward grounded out to second baseman Daniel Murphy to move the runners to second and third base. Justin Upton hit a sacrifice fly to drive home Schafer with the Braves’ first run of the game. Freddie Freeman was given an intentional walk. Lyon then got B. J. Upton to hit a force play ground ball to Murphy that finished off the inning.

Marlon Byrd hit a double off the foot of Atlanta reliever Anthony Varvaro with two outs in the top of the eighth. With Satin at bat, Varvaro made an errant pickoff throw on which Byrd advanced to third base. B. J. Upton made an error on the play that allowed Marlon to come home. Satin drew a walk and Recker singled to center field. Lagares hit a single to score Satin and extend the Mets’ lead to 4-1. On his own hit, Lagares moved to second via a throw by left fielder Justin Upton. Quintanilla singled to drive home Recker and Lagares with the fifth and sixth New York runs. Pinch-hitter Jordany Valdespin drew a walk and Varvaro got Cowgill to hit an inning-ending force play grounder to Simmons. Mets’ reliever David Aardsma then pitched a scoreless bottom half.

With one out in the top of the ninth, David Wright singled against Braves’ reliever Cory Gearrin for his 1,500th major league hit. Byrd hit a force play grounder to third baseman Chris Johnson and consecutive walks to Satin and Recker loaded the bases. Gearrin struck out Lagares to end the inning and Aardsma hit Reed Johnson with a pitch to open the bottom half. Simmons grounded out to Aardsma to send Reed Johnson to second base. Mets’ reliever Josh Edgin retired Heyward on a grounder to first baseman Satin and a walk to Justin Upton followed. Edgin then struck out Freeman to bring the game to an end. Wheeler had a win in his first major league game to finish off a Mets doubleheader sweep.