May 17, 2016

Remembering Mets History: (2013) Matt Harvey & Zack Wheeler In His MLB Debut Sweep Braves in Twin Bill

Tuesday June 18th, 2013: It was a much anticipated day for the New York Mets & a day that showed hope for the future. It was here in this twi-night double header in Atlanta where the Mets young star pitcher; Matt Harvey, continued to impress sealing his start for the NL in that years All Star Game held at Citi Field. 

It also marked the debut of another young Mets pitcher, one who came with big expectations, as the highly touted Zack Wheeler made his first start in his native home of Georgia. Wheeler had come over in the Carlos Beltran trade.

Mets manager Terry Collins said it all “I think it’s going to be a day for the organization and our fans to get excited about". 21,857 came to see Terry Collins fourth place Mets (26-40) take on Fredi Gonzalez first place Braves (42-29) at Turner Field in Atlanta Georgia.

Starting Lineups

In the first game, the exciting young Matt Harvey continued to impress & have another outstanding performance on the mound. Harvey would take a no hitter into the 7th inning, not allowing the Braves their first hit until Jason Heyward led off the 7th, with a cheap base hit, weakly hit in front of Harvey on the mound.

Harvey would strike out a career high 13 batters on this day, a total he never matched again to date. He went seven innings, walked three & ended up being charged with three late runs. Two of them were 7th inning runners that had singled off him & then scored when Mets relievers Scott Rice & Letroy Hawkins gave up hits. The win was Harvey's sixth of the year, as he went to 6-1 on the year with one of the leagues best ERA's at 2.16.

The Mets supported him with four runs,  in the 3rd Daniel Murphy singled & David Wright walked. A balk got Murph to second & Marlon Byrd brought him in with a base hit. In the 4th, Mets catcher John Buck hit a solo HR to make it 2-0.

In the 8th Byrd doubled, Lucas Duda was walked intentionally & Buck was hit by a pitch to load them up. Brave pitcher David Carpenter walked Jordany Valdespin bringing in the third run & Omar Quintanilla's sac fly brought in the fourth Met run.

Quotes: Terry Collins on Matt Harvey- "He loves to face huge challenges.Now with Zack here and all the publicity — let’s face it, (Harvey) is the guy. He’s the guy here. And with all the attention to Zack, he might have said, ‘I’m still the guy here.’"

In the night cap, it was the much anticipated debut of Georgia native Zack Wheeler, who had grown up less than an hour away. Needless to say may Wheeler family members & friends were on hand. Wheeler was the next in line of young highly touted Mets pitching prospects to get to the big leagues. A rotation starting with Harvey / Wheeler was something Mets fans were hoping to see for a long time in the future, in winning days.

Quotes: Dan Wheeler- "I went into it knowing that I’m good enough to be here."

Wheeler started out the game walking Andrelton Simmons, and allowing him to steal second. He then got Jason Heyward to strike out for his first career K. He also would walk Freddie Freeman but a double play erased any damage.

In the 2nd, Dan Uggla would double but Wheeler struck out everybody else ending that inning as well. Wheeler would go on to walk five batters in six innings, but he didn't allow any runs. He struck out seven & scattered four hits. It was an impressive debut as he also earned his first career win.

The game was scoreless until Anthony Recker hit a two run HR in the 7th inning, finally supporting Wheelers fine effort. The Mets broke it open in the 8th with RBI base hits from Omar Quintanilla & Juan Lagares. Two Brave errors on an attempted pick off of Marlon Byrd also led to a run. The Mets went on to a 6-1 victory.

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