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Saturday, July 20, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Mets 5, Phillies 4

By Matt Ehalt

NEW YORK -- The Citi Field faithful still have yet to see Zack Wheeler live up to his reputation as one of the top prospects in baseball.

In his second start in his new home park, Wheeler lasted just 4 2/3 innings. But the Mets had another good day at the plate to power them to a 5-4 win over the Phillies on Saturday.

In Wheeler's previous start in Queens, he also lasted just 4 2/3 innings, giving up a career-high five runs in a 13-2 loss to the Nationals on June 30.

Wheels off: Wheeler gave up only two runs, but he labored through Saturday's start, as the Phillies worked the count against the youngster. Wheeler worked his way in and out of trouble for most of the afternoon, but couldn't make it out of the fifth inning. With the Mets ahead 3-2 and two outs, Wheeler walked Darin Ruf to load the bases, and was subsequently pulled. Wheeler gave up seven hits in the no-decision. He's yet to string together back-to-back solid outings through his first six major league starts.

Burning up: The Mets have turned to their bullpen for 12 1/3 innings in the first two games since the All-Star break. The pen has struggled this year, and asking them to get so many outs just two games into an 18-game, 17-day stretch is not a formula for success. The bullpen did perform well Saturday, giving up two runs in 5 1/3 innings. Chase Utley hit a two-run homer off Bobby Parnell in the ninth.

Scary ending: With two outs, after the Utley home run, Parnell then gave up a double to Domonic Brown. But Ruf lined out to end the game.

Wright stays hot: David Wright continued his hot streak, going 1-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored. Wright is now batting .348 since June 5 and has 48 hits dating back to June 12. He walked in the first inning and scored the Mets' second run, and then singled in Eric Young Jr. in the fifth to put the Mets up 4-2.

Byrd's world again: Marlon Byrd had an RBI single in the first inning and now has 55 RBIs on the year, including four in the first two games after the All-Star break. Quietly, Byrd and Wright have turned into a formidable duo in the middle of the Mets' lineup, combining for 30 homers and 92 RBIs.

Up next: It'll be a battle of All-Stars on Sunday, as the Mets send Matt Harvey (7-2, 2.35) to the hill opposite Cliff Lee (10-3, 2.86) at 1:10 p.m. The first 25,000 fans will receive a Dwight Gooden bobblehead, and Gooden will be signing copies of his book outside the team store in the Citi Field rotunda from noon to 1 p.m.