Revenge is a dish best served during a muggy August afternoon.
Zack Wheeler spun a gem against his former team on Sunday afternoon, helping the Philadelphia Phillies defeat the New York Mets 6-2 at Citizens Bank Park to complete a three-game sweep.
The Mets opted not to seriously pursue Wheeler, who voiced his desire to stay with the team when his contract expired following the 2019 season. Instead, the Phillies signed him to a five-year, $118 million to bolster their rotation behind Aaron Nola.
He showed them what they were missing, going seven innings, allowing two runs on six hits while striking out four in the victory.
Meanwhile, the Mets opted to go with bargain deals, signing the likes of Rick Porcello — who opposed Wheeler on Sunday — but has seen the rotation disintegrate due to injuries and inconsistencies.
After two dreadful starts in Queens, Porcello had leveled out with an another two solid outings, but he was tagged for four runs on 10 hits over six innings.
The Phillies immediately got to him in the first inning when Rhys Hoskins singled home Jean Segura. It was good enough for Wheeler over the first three innings as he allowed just one hit and one walk during that span.
But the Mets managed to get to him in the fourth inning when Luis Guillorme — who continues to produce when called upon — sliced a single with the bases loaded to score two and give the visitors a lead.
“He’s a guy that throws the ball hard. He can throw it in and out, he spots well,” Guillorme said. “That’s always what he’s been. He’s a good pitcher.”
In nine games this season, Guillorme is doing the most with his chance batting .489 with an OPS of 1.059.
“It feels great. I’ve gotten a chance to play,” he said. “Every time I get a chance to go out there and compete I’m going to do my best.”
While Porcello hung on to the Mets lead for the ensuing two innings, he fell apart in the sixth inning.
A pair of doubles from JT Realmuto — a grounder that bounced off the third-base bag — and Alec Bohm tied things up at two apiece before Andrew McCutchen smacked his first home run of the season into the left-field seats.
“It was just two pitches. The pitch to the kid Bohm… gave him a chance. The first-pitch slider to McCutchen was the worst pitch I threw all night,” Porcello said. “He did what you were supposed to do with a pitch like that.”
That was all for Porcello on the day once he staggered out of the sixth inning, but the Phillies weren’t done taking advantage of the Mets’ struggles.
Segura reached on a throwing error by Mets third baseman JD Davis to lead-off the inning where he was replaced by pinch-runner Neil Walker.
After a Bryce Harper single, Realmuto chopped a ball to third where Davis delivered a low throw to first baseman Dominic Smith, but he couldn’t wrangle it in. As the ball rolled past him, Walker scored from second base to put the Phillies up three.
“A couple of errors can really haunt us,” Mets manager Luis Rojas said.
Didi Gregorius made it 6-2 with a single that scored Realmuto.
While the Phillies came into Sunday with the worst bullpen in baseball, they had little problem with the Mets, allowing just one hit in the final two innings to secure the victory.
“We’re still trying to fight,” Davis said. “It’s just one of those things that it’s not going our way… Getting swept by the Phillies, it’s unacceptable.”