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Thanks to the rain this week, David Peterson had a few extra days to ponder his first start of the season against the Phillies before getting a chance to wash the bad taste out of his mouth.
Last week in Philadelphia, Peterson got rocked. In Wednesday’s rematch, Peterson rocked.
The Mets left-hander matched a career-high with 10 strikeouts and gave up just two hits over six innings while mowing down the Phillies in a 5-1 win at Citi Field.
It was an encouraging bounce-back for Peterson, the kind the Mets have come to expect from the poised 25-year-old who showed an even-keeled demeanor throughout his strong rookie season last year. It also marked the latest impressive outing for a Mets rotation that has been the backbone of the team while the offense finds its footing to begin the season.
The Mets did pound out 10 hits against former teammate Zack Wheeler on Wednesday, and James McCann added his first home run in his new uniform, a two-run shot in the eighth that provided some breathing room.
Peterson started against the Phillies on April 7 and got ambushed by a four-run first inning before recovering to give up six runs over four innings. This time out, he had a much cleaner start, cruising through a 1-2-3 first inning on 15 pitches with strikeouts of Rhys Hoskins and Bryce Harper.
That set the tone for Peterson’s outing, and he didn’t allow a hit until Jean Segura’s solo home run with one out in the fifth inning cut the Mets’ lead to 2-1.
Peterson, who was originally scheduled to start Monday’s series opener, which got rained out, needed just 80 pitches to get through six innings. But he was removed for a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the sixth with two outs and runners on the corners. Jonathan Villar could not build on the Mets’ lead, though, grounding out to first to end the threat.
Jeurys Familia entered to begin the seventh inning and walked the leadoff batter, J.T. Realmuto, who had hit the ball hard twice against Peterson. After Familia got a groundout, Segura squibbed an infield single to put runners on the corners with one out.
But Aaron Loup came on to bail out Familia, getting pinch-hitter Didi Gregorius to ground into an inning-ending double play.
The Mets jumped on Wheeler in the first inning thanks to three straight singles from the red-hot Brandon Nimmo, Francisco Lindor and Dominic Smith — who went on to combine for eight hits. Pete Alonso also drove in a run in the first to make it a 2-0 lead and added a sacrifice fly in the seventh that put the Mets up 3-1.
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