Yankees chase Zack Wheeler as Mets lose first game of Subway Series doubleheader

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Mets manager Mickey Callaway talked about Zack Wheeler after the Mets lost to the Yankees, 12-5, in the first game of Tuesday’s doubleheader. Justin Toscano, Staff Writer

NEW YORK — The turning point came in the fourth, when Todd Frazier fielded a routine ground ball in a tie game and tossed it to first to end the inning. 

Except Frazier put it way out of Dominic Smith’s reach, and the runner reached and took second on the error. 

Two batters later, Luke Voit obliterated a three-run home run. The Yankees never looked back and the Mets never got closer. 

“Just got away,” Frazier said. “Got to make a better throw. Slow ground ball, had plenty of time. Once I threw it, I knew it was going the wrong direction. That was on me, turned into a bigger inning because I couldn’t get the ball to first base, bottom line.”

The Mets, once up three runs early, lost,12-5 in Game 1 of a Subway Series doubleheader at Yankee Stadium. Momentum swung in the fourth and the afternoon left a confused Wheeler wondering what has gone wrong for him. 

“The results aren’t there, but I feel great,” said Wheeler, whose ERA shot up to 4.87 after his latest start. “I just wish the results would come.”

Story continues after gallery

Jun 11, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees designated hitter Luke Voit (45) reacts with center fielder Aaron Hicks (31) hitting a three run home run against the New York Mets during the fourth inning at Yankees Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 11, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees designated hitter Luke Voit (45) reacts with center fielder Aaron Hicks (31) hitting a three run home run against the New York Mets during the fourth inning at Yankees Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports Andy Marlin, Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 11, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Mets designated hitter Pete Alonso (20) reacts after being called out on a third strike against the New York Yankees during the seventh inning at Yankees Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 11, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Mets designated hitter Pete Alonso (20) reacts after being called out on a third strike against the New York Yankees during the seventh inning at Yankees Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports Andy Marlin, Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 11, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) tips his cap to the fans after being taken out of the game against the New York Mets during the seventh inning at Yankees Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 11, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) tips his cap to the fans after being taken out of the game against the New York Mets during the seventh inning at Yankees Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports Andy Marlin, Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 11, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees designated hitter Luke Voit (45) is congratulated after hitting a three run home run against the New York Mets during the fourth inning at Yankees Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 11, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees designated hitter Luke Voit (45) is congratulated after hitting a three run home run against the New York Mets during the fourth inning at Yankees Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports Andy Marlin, Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 11, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees third baseman Gio Urshela (29) is tagged out at third base by New York Mets third baseman Todd Frazier (21) after attempting to tag up on a fly out during the seventh inning at Yankees Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 11, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees third baseman Gio Urshela (29) is tagged out at third base by New York Mets third baseman Todd Frazier (21) after attempting to tag up on a fly out during the seventh inning at Yankees Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports Andy Marlin, Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 11, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Mets second baseman Jeff McNeil (6) makes a diving attempt to catch an RBI single by New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez (not pictured) during the third inning at Yankees Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 11, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Mets second baseman Jeff McNeil (6) makes a diving attempt to catch an RBI single by New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez (not pictured) during the third inning at Yankees Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports Andy Marlin, Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
New York Yankees' Masahiro Tanaka, of Japan, delivers a pitch during the first inning in the first game of a baseball doubleheader  Tuesday, June 11, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
New York Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka, of Japan, delivers a pitch during the first inning in the first game of a baseball doubleheader Tuesday, June 11, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) Frank Franklin II, AP
New York Mets' Zack Wheeler delivers a pitch during the first inning in the first game of a baseball doubleheader Tuesday, June 11, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
New York Mets’ Zack Wheeler delivers a pitch during the first inning in the first game of a baseball doubleheader Tuesday, June 11, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) Frank Franklin II, AP
New York Mets' Juan Lagares (12) hits an RBI single against the New York Yankees during the third inning in the first baseball game of a doubleheader, Tuesday, June 11, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
New York Mets’ Juan Lagares (12) hits an RBI single against the New York Yankees during the third inning in the first baseball game of a doubleheader, Tuesday, June 11, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) Frank Franklin II, AP
New York Mets' Jeff McNeil hits a three-run home run against the New York Yankees during the third inning in the first baseball game of a doubleheader, Tuesday, June 11, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
New York Mets’ Jeff McNeil hits a three-run home run against the New York Yankees during the third inning in the first baseball game of a doubleheader, Tuesday, June 11, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) Frank Franklin II, AP
New York Mets' Jeff McNeil (6) runs the bases after hitting a three-run home run against the New York Yankees during the third inning in the first baseball game of a doubleheader, Tuesday, June 11, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
New York Mets’ Jeff McNeil (6) runs the bases after hitting a three-run home run against the New York Yankees during the third inning in the first baseball game of a doubleheader, Tuesday, June 11, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) Frank Franklin II, AP
New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez, right, looks away as New York Mets' Jeff McNeil (6) celebrates with teammates Tomas Nido (3) and Juan Lagares after McNeil hit a three-run home run during the third inning in the first baseball game of a doubleheader Tuesday, June 11, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez, right, looks away as New York Mets’ Jeff McNeil (6) celebrates with teammates Tomas Nido (3) and Juan Lagares after McNeil hit a three-run home run during the third inning in the first baseball game of a doubleheader Tuesday, June 11, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) Frank Franklin II, AP
New York Mets' Tomas Nido (3) celebrates with teammates after scoring on a three-run home run by teammate Jeff McNeil during the third inning against the New York Yankees in the first baseball game of a doubleheader, Tuesday, June 11, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
New York Mets’ Tomas Nido (3) celebrates with teammates after scoring on a three-run home run by teammate Jeff McNeil during the third inning against the New York Yankees in the first baseball game of a doubleheader, Tuesday, June 11, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) Frank Franklin II, AP
New York Yankees first baseman Kendrys Morales can't field the throw allowing New York Mets' Todd Frazier to reach first base during the fourth inning in the first baseball game of a doubleheader, Tuesday, June 11, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
New York Yankees first baseman Kendrys Morales can’t field the throw allowing New York Mets’ Todd Frazier to reach first base during the fourth inning in the first baseball game of a doubleheader, Tuesday, June 11, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) Frank Franklin II, AP
New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler, left, reacts as New York Yankees' Gio Urshela runs the bases after hitting a two-run home run during the fourth inning in the first baseball game of a doubleheader, Tuesday, June 11, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler, left, reacts as New York Yankees’ Gio Urshela runs the bases after hitting a two-run home run during the fourth inning in the first baseball game of a doubleheader, Tuesday, June 11, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) Frank Franklin II, AP
New York Yankees' Gio Urshela runs the bases after hitting a two-run home run during the fourth inning in the first baseball game of a doubleheader, Tuesday, June 11, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
New York Yankees’ Gio Urshela runs the bases after hitting a two-run home run during the fourth inning in the first baseball game of a doubleheader, Tuesday, June 11, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) Frank Franklin II, AP
New York Yankees' DJ LeMahieu (26) runs past New York Mets first baseman Dominic Smith (22) to reach first base on a throwing error by Todd Frazier during the fourth inning in the first baseball game of a doubleheader, Tuesday, June 11, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
New York Yankees’ DJ LeMahieu (26) runs past New York Mets first baseman Dominic Smith (22) to reach first base on a throwing error by Todd Frazier during the fourth inning in the first baseball game of a doubleheader, Tuesday, June 11, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) Frank Franklin II, AP
New York Yankees' Luke Voit follows through on a three-run home run as New York Mets catcher Tomas Nido, right, watches during the fourth inning in the first baseball game of a doubleheader, Tuesday, June 11, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
New York Yankees’ Luke Voit follows through on a three-run home run as New York Mets catcher Tomas Nido, right, watches during the fourth inning in the first baseball game of a doubleheader, Tuesday, June 11, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) Frank Franklin II, AP
New York Yankees' Luke Voit runs the bases after hitting a three-run home run against the New York Mets during the fourth inning in the first baseball game of a doubleheader, Tuesday, June 11, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
New York Yankees’ Luke Voit runs the bases after hitting a three-run home run against the New York Mets during the fourth inning in the first baseball game of a doubleheader, Tuesday, June 11, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) Frank Franklin II, AP
New York Yankees' Luke Voit, left, celebrates with third base coach Phil Nevin as he runs the bases after hitting a three run home run during the fourth inning against the New York Mets in the first baseball game of a doubleheader, Tuesday, June 11, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
New York Yankees’ Luke Voit, left, celebrates with third base coach Phil Nevin as he runs the bases after hitting a three run home run during the fourth inning against the New York Mets in the first baseball game of a doubleheader, Tuesday, June 11, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) Frank Franklin II, AP
New York Yankees' Luke Voit, left, celebrates with Gary Sanchez, center, after hitting a three-run home run against the New York Mets during the fourth inning in the first baseball game of a doubleheader, Tuesday, June 11, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
New York Yankees’ Luke Voit, left, celebrates with Gary Sanchez, center, after hitting a three-run home run against the New York Mets during the fourth inning in the first baseball game of a doubleheader, Tuesday, June 11, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) Frank Franklin II, AP
New York Mets right fielder Michael Conforto misjudges a ball hit by New York Yankees' Brett Gardner for an RBI triple during the fifth inning in the first game of a baseball doubleheader Tuesday, June 11, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
New York Mets right fielder Michael Conforto misjudges a ball hit by New York Yankees’ Brett Gardner for an RBI triple during the fifth inning in the first game of a baseball doubleheader Tuesday, June 11, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) Frank Franklin II, AP
New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway, center, takes starting pitcher Zack Wheeler, right, out of the game during the fifth inning against the New York Yankees in the first baseball game of a doubleheader, Tuesday, June 11, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway, center, takes starting pitcher Zack Wheeler, right, out of the game during the fifth inning against the New York Yankees in the first baseball game of a doubleheader, Tuesday, June 11, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) Frank Franklin II, AP

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Voit’s blast began Wheeler’s undoing as the righty eventually allowed a career-high nine runs (though only five were earned). In his latest start, Wheeler encountered a familiar problem. He allowed two more homers, both in the same inning  — one to Gio Urshela that tied the game, then Voit’s go-ahead blast. 

Wheeler has now given up 13 homers this season. For context, he surrendered 14 all of last year. He’s never allowed more than 15, but he would need to be lights out to not break that mark this season. 

“Any time you’re giving up more homers, it’s just execution,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. “It’s getting the ball where you want to. You leave it in the middle against the wrong people, they’re going to have a chance to do some damage.”

Wheeler said he hung a slider to Voit. 

But that 97 mph fastball to Urshela … 

“I’m happy with the pitch,” Wheeler said. “Not happy with the result, but happy with the pitch.”

New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) is takes out of the game against the New York Yankees during the fifth inning at Yankees Stadium.

Another issue for him has been his pitching with runners on base. Coming into Tuesday, opponents were batting .313 against Wheeler with men on base. 

“Out of the stretch,” Wheeler said, “I have not been that good this year.”

He said it isn’t a matter of being less comfortable out of the stretch than he was last year. He just sees it as something he needs to fix in his next bullpen. 

The Yankees notched 10 hits in 42/3 innings against Wheeler. A couple could have gone the other way, though. 

In the third inning, Gary Sanchez blooped a ball down the line in shallow right. Jeff McNeil sprinted back from second base and laid out. However, it landed just out of his reach and he appeared to hurt himself. The athletic trainers went out to check on him, but he stayed in the game. 

Callaway said the play “numbed (McNeil’s) armpit,” but added that he was fine. 

Kendrys Morales hit a weak fly ball to left field in the fifth inning and a sliding J.D. Davis couldn’t make the play. Morales, who ended up at second, scored moments later. 

Brett Gardner smoked a ball to deep right in the fifth and Michael Conforto dove, but couldn’t snatch it. One run scored, giving the Yankees eight unanswered runs and a 9-4 lead at that point. 

“It was a combination of giving the other team some extra outs, a couple of bloop hits that scored some runs and a couple homers,” Callaway said. “It was kind of plain and simple. He did have great stuff. His fastball was electric. He hung a couple of sliders, made a couple of good pitches and got jam shots that got over the infield, made some big pitches to get some ground balls we didn’t capitalize on.”

What might haunt the Mets about Game 1 is that they were initially in a good position to win. The Yankees scored first, but McNeil launched a three-run shot off Masahiro Tanaka in the third to give the Mets a 4-1 lead. After the ball left the yard, there was a somewhat-loud “Let’s Go Mets!” chant here. 

Eventually, those fans were silenced as the Yankees took control in their house. 

This became another forgettable outing for Wheeler. On April 7, he gave up seven earned runs, and then on May 16, he allowed six. He’s surrendered four or more earned runs six times this year. 

“He always has good stuff, he’s always had good stuff, he always will have good stuff,” Callaway said. “But you’ve just got to execute pitches. I think he did execute quite a few pitches. We gave them some extra outs and (there) were some bloops.”

New York Mets designated hitter Pete Alonso (20) reacts after being called out on a third strike against the New York Yankees during the seventh inning at Yankees Stadium.

If you’re looking for a positive in this loss, it’s that the Mets were down five runs when Wheeler departed. Had they been within a run or two, they may have used a couple top relievers to try and hold the Yankees. 

Instead, Wilmer Font came in and ate up 2 1/3 innings. Then Tim Peterson came entered after him. 

The Yankees stamped this one when Sanchez drilled a two-run homer off Peterson. According to Statcast, it left the bat at 107.5 mph and went an estimated 422 feet to put the Yankees up 12-5. They finished with 15 hits and scored seven of their runs with two outs. 

The Mets’ high-leverage arms will be rested for Game 2. 

The second game of the doubleheader is set for 7:05 p.m. Jason Vargas will take the mound for the Mets, who will look to salvage the first part of this year’s Subway Series. 

The Mets, for the most part, fizzled out after McNeil’s home run on Tuesday afternoon. There is no telling how this game would have played out had they scored more runs and made this a true shootout. 

But it might be fair to wonder what would have happened if the fourth inning had not been extended on an error, and the teams instead went to the fifth in a tie game. 

“It’s one me,” Frazier said. “The end of that inning is one me. Just couldn’t find a way to get the out, I had an easy play to make and it changed the whole game around.”

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