Michael Wacha has pitched the Mets out of plenty of games this season. But on Wednesday night, his right arm enabled them to rally for arguably their biggest win of the season.
Called upon in relief of ailing ace Jacob deGrom, the former Cardinal delivered his best outing as a Met, holding down the Phillies and laying the foundation for a come-from-behind, 5-4 win in Philadelphia that snapped a three-game losing streak.
Wacha delivered four innings of one-run ball, allowing five hits and striking out three after deGrom left following the first two frames due to a right hamstring spasm. He yielded Jean Segura’s sixth home run of the season in the third, but nothing else, pitching around a leadoff Scott Kingery double in the fourth and working around a pair of singles in the fifth.
“Just making some quality pitches, putting the pitches where they need to be,” Wacha said. “You get some swings and misses, get some weak contact. Some balls wStruere hit hard, but they were right at guys.”
Admittedly, Wacha has struggled in his first season with the Mets, who were hoping he would emerge after Noah Syndergaard needed Tommy John surgery and Marcus Stroman opted out of the season due to COVID-19 concerns. Even after this strong performance, his ERA stands at 6.75. He was lifted from the rotation after a shaky last start, giving up five runs over four innings to the Orioles, and may not return there.
But out of the bullpen, he found himself against the Phillies. During a three-run second inning when deGrom was laboring, Wacha started to warm up, and in between innings, he was told he was going into the game.
“I just started preparing for that, try to eat up as many innings as I could,” he said. “Especially with a deGrom start, you don’t really expect it, but some crazy things happen in this game. You’re just always ready.”
Wacha was part of seven innings of one-run ball from the bullpen.
Justin Wilson, Miguel Castro and Edwin Diaz also threw shutout frames. J.D. Davis pulled the Mets even after they fell into an early 4-0 deficit with a two-run homer and two-out, run-scoring double in the eighth, before Andres Gimenez’s single in the ninth gave the Mets the lead for good.
“A lot of guys contributed tonight,” Wacha said. “It was fun to see.”
This Post first appeared on “New York Post”