A spate of injuries already had forced the Mets to go deep into the organization’s vast well of starting pitching. The suspension of Matt Harvey for violating team rules forced them to go back to that well, and they found it pretty dry.
Lefthander Adam Wilk was summoned from Triple-A Las Vegas to take Harvey’s turn Sunday, his first major-league start since 2012, and the Marlins gave him a thunderous welcome. They pounded three long home runs — two by Giancarlo Stanton — and scored six runs in Wilk’s 3 2⁄3 innings as the Mets lost, 7-0, and failed in their bid to get back to .500 before 39,197 at Citi Field.
Wilk got almost no support from a lineup that had scored at least seven runs in five straight games. The Mets managed only one hit — a single to left by Rene Rivera on spot starter Jose Urena’s first pitch of the sixth inning — and got only two runners in scoring position.
To be fair to Wilk, who had pitched in only one major-league game during the previous four seasons, the Mets didn’t exactly put him in a position to succeed against the Marlins.
On Saturday morning, Las Vegas flew through Denver for a night game in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Wilk was told an hour before game time — at about 8 p.m. Eastern time — that he would need to be in New York the next day and that it wasn’t clear whether he’d pitch. He flew to Los Angeles for a redeye flight to New York and learned just before takeoff — approximately 10 hours before game time — that he would be the starting pitcher. He landed about 4 1⁄2 hours before first pitch and traveled straight to Citi Field.
“They said, ‘Here’s the situation: We don’t know if you’re going to pitch or not — we’re going to send you there and be ready to pitch, but we don’t know if they’re going to activate you or not,’ ” Wilk said. “I found out I was going to pitch at midnight at LAX.”
Wilk didn’t get the requisite time with a scouting report on the Marlins, either. Asked about his familiarity with their hitting tendencies, he said he’d seen some of them on television.
“They have a very good lineup [and] I’m sure today they didn’t want to leave here getting swept,” manager Terry Collins said. “He flew all night because of the late notice yesterday. Pretty tough situation to put him in, but it’s what we had to do.”
Stanton hit a three-run homer into the second deck in the first inning and hit a solo shot off the front of the Porsche Club in leftfield in the third. According to Statcast, it was the longest home run at Citi Field this season and measured 468 feet.
Adeiny Hechavarria homered in the fourth against Wilk, who was charged with six runs and allowed eight hits and a walk.
Urena, a relief pitcher asked to start for Edinson Volquez because of a thumb issue, needed only 63 pitches to get through his six innings. Three relievers completed the shutout.
The Mets’ lack of patience and productivity was a huge departure from the previous two weeks. To a man, the players insisted that Collins’ pregame meeting to brief the team on Harvey’s suspension wasn’t on their minds. Collins thought otherwise.
“These guys have been playing very well, then all of a sudden there’s something that’s thrown in the mix that no one in that room has any control over, that takes a little steam away,” he said. “I don’t think there’s any doubt that all of a sudden there was something, guys lost that focus a little bit. That certainly didn’t help us.”