The Associated Press
MIAMI–The N.Y. Mets are winning even when they can’t get a hit against the opposing starter.
Miami Marlins’ lefty Jarlin Garcia was pulled after pitching six hitless innings in his first major-league start yesterday and the Mets rallied to take advantage of a strong season debut by Zack Wheeler and win 4-1 for their eighth-straight victory.
Garcia’s 70 previous career outings were in relief, and manager Don Mattingly took him out after 77 pitches.
Mattingly said a complete game was beyond Garcia’s reach and the decision wasn’t difficult.
“It’s real easy, honestly, but I know it’s not popular,” Mattingly said. “I know he’s not going to make it. . . .
“His last two innings he had deep counts and you could tell he was labouring.”
Pinch-hitter Adrian Gonzalez’s two-run single off Chris O’Grady in a four-run eighth put the Mets ahead and helped extend the best start in team history to 10-1.
Under new manager Mickey Callaway, the Mets already have six come-from-behind victories.
They went 6-0 on a two-city swing–going unbeaten on a trip of six games or more for the first time since 1991 and just the second time in franchise history.
“I think what you’re going to see throughout the season is that when we’re down, we know how to get the job done,” Callaway said.
“We’re never going to give up,” he stressed. “That probably the biggest part of a good start like this.”
Drew Steckenrider replaced Garcia with a 1-0 lead in the seventh and retired the first two batters before Todd Frazier broke up the combined no-hit bid by lining a 1-2 pitch for a single.
Garcia had no complaint about being pulled.
“I felt like I could have kept going,” the Dominican said through an interpreter.
“But it’s not my decision. It’s up to the manager.”
Wheeler (1-0) gave up a homer to Miguel Rojas in the first inning but allowed only one other hit and retired his final 16 batters.
He departed after seven innings and 83 pitches.
Wheeler made his first start of the year for the Mets after struggling in spring training and beginning the season in the minors.
It marked the first time the Mets’ heralded quintet of Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz, Matt Harvey, and Wheeler made a rotation turn together.
When asked if Wheeler will get another start, Callaway smiled.
“I would assume so,” he replied. “He was pretty good.”
Elsewhere in the NL, Atlanta beat Washington 5-3 (12 innings), Milwaukee nipped St. Louis 3-2, Colorado topped San Diego 6-4, Arizona downed San Francisco 7-3, Philadelphia edged Cincinnati 4-3 (12 innings), and Chicago dumped Pittsburgh 13-5.