(The Blue Man Group on top of the Mets dugout entertaining fans during the game – Photo by Jason Schott)
For the second straight night, the Mets got dominant starting pitching and a big offensive performance as they beat the Arizona Diamondbacks, 3-2, at Citi Field on Tuesday night.
The Mets improved to 74-70, and have pulled to within a half-game of Arizona (75-70) in the Wild Card race.
The Chicago Cubs (77-67), who hold the second wild card spot, lost to San Diego, 9-8, in ten innings, so the Mets gained ground on them as well, pulling to within three games.
There also was major news about yet another team ahead of the Mets, as the Milwaukee Brewers (76-68) have lost Christian Yelich, the defending National League Most Valuable Player, for the season due to a broken kneecap.
That is a crushing blow to a Milwaukee team that is not all that deep, and the fact that the Mets gained ground on two teams they are catching made Tuesday night a very significant one, and should be noted as such if the Mets go on to the playoffs.
Zack Wheeler got the start for the Mets, and he had one of his typical performances, as Arizona had runners on all night, but could only get one run across on seven hits in seven innings.
Wheeler improved to 11-7 on the season and lowered his ERA to 4.21.
Arizona got on the board in the first inning when Ketel Marte singled, stole second, and scored on a single from Eduardo Escobar.
The Mets came right back against Arizona starter Zac Gallen in the second inning when Robinson Cano singled and Amed Rosario walked to lead it off, and they came around to score on a double from Todd Frazier.
In the fourth inning, the same formula worked again for the Mets, as Cano doubled to center and he scored when Frazier doubled to center as well to bring Cano home and make it 3-1 Mets.
Frazier, whose playing time has been reduced, accounted for all the Mets offense, and that was all they needed, as Arizona was only able to get a run back late on an Escobar homer against Met reliever Brad Brach in the eighth.
Justin Wilson, who has been superb in the second half, aside from a rough outing on Sunday against Philadelphia, came on with two outs in the eighth inning to earn a four-out save.
The left-hander really stated his case to be the second option to close when Seth Lugo is not available.