The Wheels fell off.
After an approximate 20-minute delay in the third inning during which the grounds crew at Citi Field furiously tended to the infield to make it playable amid heavier rainfall, Zack Wheeler gave up two runs in the fourth and three more in the fifth without getting an out as the Mets were dominated in a 12-1 loss Wednesday afternoon.
Wheeler allowed six runs in four-plus innings on seven hits and three walks while striking out seven. He retired nine of 10 batters through three innings, giving up a solo home run to Justin Smoak in the first.
In the bottom of the third with a 1-0 count to Amed Rosario, the umpires huddled and eventually players returned to their respective dugouts. Rather than putting the tarp on the field, the grounds crew applied a large amount drying agent until the rain lightened up. The delay didn’t seem to affect J.A. Happ, who was on the mound at the time of the stoppage and ultimately pitched seven shutout innings with 10 strikeouts; Happ also reached base in three straight innings, the fifth, sixth and seventh, notching two hits.
But coincidence or not, Wheeler fell apart post-delay. Three batters into the fourth he served up a two-run homer to Teoscar Hernandez, giving the Blue Jays a 3-0 lead. Wheeler then gave up a walk, double, single, double and walk to begin the fifth before he was yanked for Robert Gsellman.
Wheeler allowed at least six runs and two homers for the second time in three starts, and his ERA through seven starts is 5.92. The Mets (20-19) did themselves no favors at the plate, their offense – without Yoenis Cespedes, who finally went on the DL Wednesday morning – looking anemic with just two hits through 8 2/3 innings a day after scoring 12 runs.
PLAY OF THE GAME
Kevin Pillar sprinted toward the center-field wall in the second inning to rob Michael Conforto of a hit, reaching for the ball and crashing into the wall to complete the grab.
The third-inning delay. It was still a 1-0 game going into the fourth before Wheeler started to struggle and the game became non-competitive.
STAR OF THE GAME
Since no Mets were worthy of the honor, this one goes to the grounds crew for its tireless work in keeping the infield playable and making sure the teams got the game in.
STAT OF THE GAME
April 13. That was the last time the Mets recorded wins in consecutive games, when they were 11-1. Each of the nine wins they have since then has been followed by a loss.
Brandon Nimmo hit a solo homer with two outs in the ninth to break up the shutout.
The entire Met offense, plus AJ Ramos and Buddy Baumann, each of whom gave up three runs out of the bullpen.
Friday, May 18 vs. Arizona; TV: SNY/MLBN
Source: Ny Daily News