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If this was indeed his final start as a member of the New York Mets [url=][/url] , Zack Wheeler finally did something he hadn’t done since May 20, 2017: win a game at Citi Field.

The subject of trade talk, Wheeler pitched into the eighth inning, Michael Conforto homered and the Mets defeated the Washington Nationals, 7-4 Saturday afternoon.

”It’s in the back of my head I guess,” Wheeler said of the trade rumors. ”My mind’s right here right now and I’m trying to help this team win.”

Wheeler (3-6) was brilliant for seven innings before tiring in the eighth in his longest outing since a complete game on June 19, 2014. He struck out seven and allowed just one hit through the first five innings. The 28-year old right-hander opened the season with a victory against Miami on April 11 and defeated the Padres two weeks later. The victory snapped a 13-start winless streak.

”I feel like I’m pitching a lot better than my numbers right now,” Wheeler commented. ”I feel comfortable, I feel in command out there.”

Appearing healthy after struggling in 2017 following missing two seasons to injuries, Wheeler has nine quality starts and has pitched at least six innings on 13 occasions. He’s made 18 starts and has displayed a newfound velocity in recent outings, routinely reaching 97 mph with his fastball [url=]Josh Doctson Jersey[/url] , but the right-hander has been able to mix in sharp breaking pitches to become an attractive option for potential suitors.

Wilmer Flores, Jose Reyes and Kevin Plawecki each had two hits as the light-hitting Mets scored seven runs for the first time since June 24. New York came into the game last in the National League in batting average and was tied with San Diego for the third-fewest runs scored in the majors.

It was the second straight victory for New York, who will look to win the series Sunday. The Mets have not won a series since sweeping Arizona May 18-20.

New York roughed up Austin Voth (0-1) in his major league debut. After a quiet first inning that included a strikeout of Mets’ leadoff hitter Brandon Nimmo on three pitches, the 26-year old rookie ran into trouble in the second. Flores singled to lead off the frame and moved to second on Plawecki’s single. Voth was unable to help his own cause, pausing for too long after fielding Reyes’ chopper, failing to throw out the still speedy infielder to load the bases.

”I think it’s been a lesson learned for him,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. ”He got a chance to pitch and I told him you’re going to pitch up here so learn from your mistakes and move on”

Amed Rosario remained hot, singling through the right side to score Flores with the first run of the game. The young shortstop is batting 9 for 21 with six extra-base hits over his last seven games.

Wheeler lofted a sacrifice fly and Nimmo drove in a run with a groundout to give New York a three-run lead.

New York reached Voth again for four in the fifth, three coming on Conforto’s first home run since June 26. Voth, who did not pitch in his two prior stints with Washington allowed all seven runs and struck out three. He was the fourth starting pitcher to make his major league against the Mets this season, but was the first to suffer a loss.

Wheeler was able to keep the Nationals off-balance until Bryce Harper’s RBI single in the sixth. Callaway left Wheeler in the game to face Harper again with a runner on in the eighth [url=][/url] , and the right-hander struck out the slumping Harper on seven pitches. Harper finished 1 for 4 and has just two multi-hit games since June 9. The All-Star outfielder had a pre-game meeting with manager Dave Martinez after failing to run out a fifth-inning ground ball Friday.

Jeurys Familia pitched a perfect ninth for his 17th save in 21 chances.


Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg (right shoulder inflammation) is scheduled for a rehab start Sunday for Single-A Potomac. Martinez indicated he hoped Strasburg would throw between 80 and 85 pitches. Strasburg would be in position to start Washington’s first game after the All-Star break versus Atlanta. Catcher Matt Wieters was given the day off after playing in three straight games. He was activated from the disabled list on July 9 after missing two months after surgery on his left hamstring . RHP Koda Glover (shoulder) struggled in a rehab appearance with Class A Potomac, allowing two runs on five hits over 1 2-3 innings.

Mets: Infielder T.J. Rivera (Tommy John surgery) was removed after five innings from a rehab game with Triple-A Las Vegas Friday with discomfort in his right arm. He is scheduled to undergo further testing. OF Yoenis Cespedes (strained right hip flexor) is ready to progress to something ”a little more strenuous”, although Callaway did not indicate what Cespedes’ next would be. The Mets will play three games against the New York Yankees after the All-Star break and Callaway left open the possibility that the ailing outfielder could serve as the Mets’ designated hitter for the series. Callaway did note that Cespedes would return as New York’s left fielder, ending any speculation of a potential position change for the 32-year old . RHP Jason Vargas (strained right calf) made a rehab start for Class A Brooklyn. He allowed two runs and struck out 10, while throwing exactly 90 pitches over six innings.


The Mets have had 49 players appear in at least one game this year. Per the Elias Sports Bureau, only three other teams have used so many players before the All-Star break in one season. The Los Angeles Angels have used 50 this season, the Texas Rangers used 50 in 2014 and the Atlanta Braves used 49 in 2015.


RHP Jeremy Hellickson (3-1, 3.47 ERA) t Shaquem Griffin deservedly received the bulk of the attention when the Seattle Seahawks drafted the star linebacker with one hand in the fifth round and reunited him with his twin brother Shaquill.

But aside from Griffin’s selection, general manager John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll made clear the Seahawks intent to re-establish the core tenants of how they want to play: run the ball, play aggressive defense and rely on field position.

It started in the first round with the selection of San Diego State running back Rashaad Penny and continued through the nine selections made.

After an eventful offseason that’s seen Seattle overhaul its coaching staff and say goodbye to some key veterans, the Seahawks needed to have a successful draft. Recent drafts have been filled with more misses than hits and started to catch up with Seattle last season when the depth wasn’t there to overcome key injuries.

”We feel like we made great decisions all the way through and we’ll see how it goes. You always feel that way right after [url=]Walter Payton Jersey[/url] ,” Schneider said.

Here’s what else to know about Seattle’s nine picks, including seven on the final day:

END OF THE ROAD: The end may be near for the longest-tenured Seahawks player.

Seattle traded up in the fifth round to draft Texas punter Michael Dickson, who left school early for a chance at the NFL. Dickson was regarded as the top punter available in the draft and could be a sign that Jon Ryan’s tenure in Seattle is coming to an end. Ryan has been with the team since 2008 and has two years left on his contract with Seattle but counts $3.2 million against the salary cap in 2018 and $3.6 million in 2019.

Both Carroll and Schneider insisted Ryan will be part of the punting competition.

Dickson averaged 47.4 yards per punt as a junior, was a two-time Big 12 special teams player of the year, and was the Ray Guy Award winner in 2017. Perhaps most impressive, Dickson was the MVP of the Texas Bowl victory over Missouri after downing 10 of his 11 punts inside the 20-yard line.

”He can do stuff with the ball we haven’t seen yet so we’re really intrigued to see how that translates,” Schneider said.

RUNNIN’ DOWN A DREAM: Seattle continued to focus on improving its run game on offense by drafting Washington tight end Will Dissly in the fourth round.

”We thought he was the best blocker in the draft,” Carroll said.

Dissly arrived at Washington as a defensive end but transitioned to tight end for his final two seasons. While blocking is his strength, Dissly also had 21 receptions and two TDs as a senior. Dissly is the first Washington player drafted by the Seahawks since another tight end, Jerramy Stevens, was selected in the first round in 2002.

POSTION SWITCH: It wouldn’t be a Seattle draft without at least one player switching positions. But this one makes sense as the Seahawks intend to use Tre Flowers at cornerback. Flowers was primarily a safety at Oklahoma State [url=]Jerrell Freeman Jersey[/url] , but his size makes him a perfect fit for cornerback in Seattle. Flowers is 6-foot-3 with long arms and has experience playing some cornerback in college.

SLIDING DOWN: A gem of Seattle’s draft could end up being Ohio State offensive tackle Jamarco Jones, selected late in the fifth round. Jones was rated by Pro Football Focus as the No. 3 offensive tackle available in the draft, but was taken with the 168th overall selection. Seattle projects Jones as a left tackle.

QB CALLING: For just the second time in nine drafts, the Seahawks used a draft pick on a quarterback. Florida International QB Alex McGough was selected with Seattle’s final pick, No. 220 overall in the seventh round. Seattle indicated this may be the year it takes a QB to develop behind Russell Wilson, the only other QB drafted by the team since 2010. McGough threw for 2,791 yards and 17 TDs as a senior, but suffered a broken collarbone in the opening minutes of FIU’s bowl game in December.

McGough did run some read-option in college and his mobility makes him a logical backup option to Wilson.

STILL NEED: The Seahawks addressed their most pressing needs, but could still use more depth at linebacker and an offensive lineman with the ability to play center. The other area Seattle may look to target among undrafted free agents could be a bigger wide receiver, but this draft clearly defined the Seahawks are going back to relying on the run first.

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