Wheeler hit by liner, still pitches Mets past Dodgers 7-3
Los Angeles — Despite a chest contusion that necessitated a postgame X-ray and CT scan, New York Mets starter Zack Wheeler was not about to call it a day after a 91-mph comebacker hit him square in the midsection.
Wheeler gave up a two-run home run to Max Muncy three pitches after he was hit by Justin Turner's comebacker in the fourth inning, but he still went seven sharp innings to lead the New York Mets over the Los Angeles Dodgers 7-3 Wednesday.
The CT scan was considered more of a precaution, according to Mets manager Mickey Callaway, and the X-ray was negative. A positive was yet another impressive outing from Wheeler, even if he did allow three earned runs, ending his run of eight consecutive outings with two earned runs or less.
Callaway considered the comebacker to the chest and the Muncy home run to be connected.
"It definitely can (be)," Callaway said. "You're kind of rattled a little bit and he had some trouble catching his breath for a second. It can definitely come into play, but he settled down and finished the game. He was a little tight at the end of the game, so it was a good thing he was out of pitches."
Wheeler was unavailable for comment afterward as he was off getting his scan before the team boarded its cross-country flight back to New York in advance of Thursday's off day.
Max Muncy and Cody Bellinger homered for the playoff-contending Dodgers, who lost for third time in their past 12 games. Los Angeles finished with three hits.
Wilmer Flores had a pair of RBI singles and Amed Rosario got three hits for the Mets, who went 5-4 on their road trip to Wrigley Field, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Rosario had a hit in all eight games he played on the trip to tie a career-best hit streak. He had 17 hits in the eight games.
"Basically, what I am doing is that I am trusting myself more," Rosario said through an interpreter. "What I am doing right now is working on putting the ball in play. That's bringing the success right now."
Wheeler (10-7) retired the first 11 batters before Justin Turner hit a liner in the fourth inning that struck the pitcher. The exit velocity on Turner's ball was clocked at 91 mph.
Wheeler got a visit from the Mets' medical staff before Muncy went deep. Overall, he allowed three runs and three hits, striking out nine and walking two.
It was the first time Wheeler gave up more than two earned runs since July 14. He is 8-1 with a 1.86 ERA over his last 10 outings and has gone seven innings in six of his last seven starts.
"These guys (the Dodgers), obviously they are swinging hard, trying to put it over the fence," Callaway said about Wheeler's liberal use of his breaking pitches. "You have to not allow them to sit on one speed. If you were just throwing al fastballs and sliders, or fastballs and changeups, you're going to have a rough night. Mixing in a curveball gives a little more separation speed wise."
Flores singled home a run in the fourth and another in the fifth. Austin Jackson and Rosario also had RBI singles.
Muncy hit his 32nd home run and Bellinger connected off Wheeler for his 22nd.
"I was kind of just going based off what I'd seen on him in his past games," Muncy said of hitting against Wheeler. "When he gets a guy on first he likes to go with his changeup. Then I took a chance and it paid off for me. He left it up in the zone. If he'd have left it down in the zone I probably wouldn't have hit it, but he made a mistake and that was probably one of the only mistakes he made all day."
Hyun-Jin Ryu (4-2) gave up five runs on 11 hits over six innings with no walks and eight strikeouts.
Plawecki sent for CT scan
Wheeler was not the only Mets player to receive a postgame CT scan. Catcher Kevin Plawecki also got one on his ribs after he was hit by a pitch in the eighth inning by Dodgers pitcher Pat Venditte.
Like Wheeler, Plawecki's scan was considered a precaution before the team boarded its flight to New York. With catcher Devin Mesoraco dealing with next and back discomfort after injuring himself on a swing Monday, getting another catcher to Citi Field this weekend is likely.
"That would probably make sense," Callaway said. "We have a day off (Thursday) so we have time to evaluate the situation. But we might need to do that."
Dodgers: RHP Kenley Jansen is not expected to travel to Colorado this weekend after a team cardiologist recommended he not pitch at altitude after suffering an irregular heartbeat episode in Denver last month. . RHP Ross Stripling (lower back inflammation) threw 34 pitches in a simulated game, plus more in the bullpen, and is expected to come off the disabled list Saturday at Colorado.
After an off-day Thursday, Mets LHP Steven Matz (5-11, 4.20 ERA) is scheduled to open a three-game series at Citi Field against the Phillies. Matz is coming off a career-best 11 strikeouts Saturday at San Francisco. After an off-day Thursday, Dodgers LHP Clayton Kershaw (6-5, 2.40) will open a three-game series at Colorado where he is 9-4 in 20 career starts with a 4.65 ERA.
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