It turns out there is rest for the weary.
Mets manager Mickey Callaway rested Michael Conforto and Amed Rosario on Tuesday night against the Marlins. It didn’t matter.
The Mets went out and steamrolled Miami, 5-0, as Zack Wheeler threw eight innings for his second straight scoreless gem since he wasn’t traded at the July 31 deadline.
Wilson Ramos hit a three-run homer and Pete Alonso also went deep for the Mets, who have won five in a row and 12 of 13.
The Mets are two games over .500 (58-56) for the first time since they were 13-11 on April 24. They are 18-6 since the All-Star break. They moved up to 1 1/2 games behind Philadelphia for the second NL wild card.
“We know how good we can be and how good we are,” said Wheeler, who allowed eight hits, walked one and struck out five in a 101-pitch effort. “We’re shooting for it. We’ve got a good group of guys. We’re just playing hard. Everybody’s on the bench cheering for every single thing that’s going right and if something goes wrong, guys are picking people up.”
Not much is going wrong. On Wednesday, the Mets can complete a four-game sweep of the Marlins in a game that starts at 12:10. The quick turnaround is one reason Callaway rested Conforto and Rosario. It didn’t sap the Mets’ momentum one bit.
Even though the Mets are off Thursday, Callaway stuck to his guns and started a 6-7-8 of Luis Guillorme, Adeiny Hechavarria and Juan Lagares. Callaway could have been roasted if the Mets had lost while he was sitting two of their hottest hitters. But the Mets don’t lose too often these days.
“I wanted to get both of their off days out of the way,” Callaway said. “Be ready for the day game the next day and then have a day off . . . There’s not going to be much rest going on after this, so this is kind of a last chance and then we’ll be getting after it.”
For the second straight start, general manager Brodie Van Wagenen looked like a genius for not dealing Wheeler. The free-agent-to-be righthander threw seven shutout innings on Thursday — the day after the deadline — against the White Sox in Chicago in a 4-0 victory.
This time, Wheeler (9-6) went one inning better in his longest outing of the season. Mets starters improved to 13-3 with a 2.61 ERA since the All-Star break.
Wheeler actually worked harder than his line may have made it seem. The Marlins, the worst-hitting team in the National League, had at least one baserunner in each of his innings.
But Wheeler never gave in. The Mets, with good gloves Hechavarria and Guillorme in the middle, turned three double plays behind Wheeler and another in the ninth for Robert Gsellman to end the game.
“They got a lot of leadoff hitters on,” Callaway said. “But [Wheeler] got the ground balls he needed and utilized those slick infielders that we put out there today. Those guys did a good job behind him.”
The Marlins started former Yankee Hector Noesi, who hadn’t started a major-league game since May 25, 2015, for the White Sox. The righthander was making his first big-league appearance of the season.
The Mets jumped on Noesi immediately and scored a first-inning run for the sixth straight game when Todd Frazier lined a two-out double off the glove of a leaping leftfielder Jon Berti.
Ramos made it 4-0 in the third with a no-doubt three-run homer to center after Noesi walked the first two batters of the inning. It was Ramos’ 12th home run of the season.
Alonso, who hit the go-ahead home run in the seventh inning of the second game on Monday, took a low pitch and lined it out to left for his 36th homer to give the Mets a 5-0 lead in the fifth. That was pretty much it.
“I’m feeling really good right now,” Alonso said. “It’s a good time for a sweep tomorrow.”