Zack Wheeler looks to build on his last start

Maggie Wiggin, Contributor

Zack Wheeler will start tonight against the Cubs, as the Mets begin a three-game series in Chicago.

It’s been a challenging start to the season for Wheeler, but his recent most performance is a good reminder of why patience with young pitchers is so important, because the payoff can be really special…



MLB: New York Mets at Philadelphia Phillies


Wheeler’s last start was his best of the season. He allowed just one run and four hits over 6 1/3 innings. Most impressively, he struck out nine and walked none. It was just his third career start with no walks.

The key for Wheeler was pounding the strike zone. When he wasn’t striking batters out, he generated weak contact and induced ground ball outs. Even his one blemish – a solo homerun to the last batter he faced – would have been an easy out at almost any stadium in the league. He maintained his velocity throughout the game, hitting 94 and 95 mph with regularity in the 6th and 7th innings.

Wheeler is still having some difficulty keeping his pitch count down. It took him 108 pitches to complete 6 1/3 innings and he ran eight full counts. Late in the game, he fell behind batters more frequently, which forced him to throw more than he would have otherwise. But he’s moving in the right direction and Thursday marked his second start in a row pitching into the 7th inning.

While he’s hasn’t achieved the level of success yet that many hoped he would find in his sophomore season, Wheeler is showing definite signs of developing as a pitcher. Though his ERA is still 4.31, his FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) is just 3.50, which suggests his overall results may be somewhat affected by bad luck or poor fielding (most likely a combination of the two). His K/9 has jumped from 7.6 to nearly 9 this season and his BB/9 has dropped slightly.

Wheeler can build on his last start by continuing to limit the walks as well as by utilizing his arsenal of off-speed pitches, such as his curveball, which he has thrown for strikes to great success. The combination of this curve and his fastball is an intimidating one, especially if he can get batters to start biting on his slider as well.




100 comments
dtlmetsfan
dtlmetsfan

Is anyone else really, really sad that Lagares isn't around?

Darrell Smith
Darrell Smith

Hopefully he will continue to build on what he did in his last start.

L.a. Henry
L.a. Henry

Wheeler is a work in progress. The talent is there, now it's all about command. Flores has to play full  time and Campbell deserves more playing time.

tc should bat granderson leadoff & flores cleanup

stage52
stage52

Only idiots will be left at the post game Concert June 14th 50 cent show .

theglider
theglider

Show of hands; how many of you never thought the team would get back to .500? A win tonight does it.

wilpondscm
wilpondscm

wheeler, the epitome of mediocre.

Macacawitz
Macacawitz

LIfe is good when you're playing .700 ball in the last ten games...takes the edge off.

Macacawitz
Macacawitz

(I wonder how Maggie's doing and if there's an announcement to make?)

@L.a. Henry right . terry needs to play flores everyday & platoon duda with campbell at 1b

Mike Dell Italia
Mike Dell Italia

I'm down for grandy leadoff why not, but flores cleanup ? That's a joke rite. I rather see duda maybe wright not flores guy hit one homerun all of sudden he's Mickey mantle lets relax guys

hankypanky
hankypanky

Yeah, let's make Citipark a bandbox. The Opposition will love it.

never lost faith in the mets

gpopper
gpopper

Shades of 69, ever vigilant.

nolrog
nolrog

@theglider  I'll raise my hand.  When they hit 5 over, I thought it was only down from there.  I don't think I've ever seen a 5 game series before, and to win 4 of them is quite remarkable.

BringBackDaveTelghe
BringBackDaveTelghe

I never in a million years thought they'd be back to .500. I remember watching in disgust the awful Mothers Day game and thinking it was over.

90wins
90wins

@theglider I want the Mets to win, I really do, but I was pretty confident that the team will end up 10 games under 500 by June 1st when they fired Hudgens and Valverde.

gpopper
gpopper

Give him a break. Last start he showed what he is capable of doing. He gets his mechanics together and some consistency and he's a top of the pitcher (2 or 3). Nolan Ryan was a mini disaster when he came up, look what he became. Not sayin Wheeler fits that mold, but you just never know. Needs some more time. Mediocre is the last thing I'd call him right now.

90wins
90wins

@wilpondscm Give the kid a break. He's is a better than average starting pitcher.

90wins
90wins

@Macacawitz The Mets are pretty good on the road, away from all the Mets fans who boo them.

stage52
stage52

@90wins  It takes Terry 100 darts to figure out the many platoon situations!

theglider
theglider

So Flores is starting again. And all those who complained that he wouldn't were correct, as always.

Chad Snaider
Chad Snaider

Its because most teams keep it the same for the most part, terry is always changing it lol

its not even about the hr hes a consistent hitter hes proved it in the winter , in the minors , etc playing EVERYDAY not twice a week

metsfan36
metsfan36

They won 4 out of 5 in September against the marlins in 11. Sort of almost made the playoffs. Most fans don't remember bc season was basically over and with Reyes and Murphy hurt and beltran traded, along with a terrible august, most fans tuned out. But then the mets started September red hot (led by tejada of all people, he was amazing those last 2 months) and I remember thinking if they keep this up and the braves fall apart a little, they can pull this off. In the end, the braves fell apart alot, the cards got hot and they went on to win the ws.

metsfan36
metsfan36

Away from the stadium that steals their offense

72tilltc
72tilltc

@theglider No they are just smart people who base decisions on past behavior. Like I can predict you will say something stupid every time your fingers touch a keyboard.

90wins
90wins

@theglider No Abreu? So much about giving Murph and Wright some rest. 

Chad Snaider
Chad Snaider

I like flores, not sure where he would play but i like his bat. Maybe trade bait

theglider
theglider

My fingers don't touch the keyboard. I type with a device in my mouth.

nolrog
nolrog

Murphy tweaked his back as well, so this would have been an ideal day to get a rest.

stemog
stemog

@90wins @theglider They're playing baseball, not digging ditches. Give me $18 million per, I'll play until I fall over.

theglider
theglider

We need wins and they give us our best shot.

Chad Snaider
Chad Snaider

I saw that murph is getting thursday off

jenkins
jenkins

@theglider That is amazing. Liked your posts even before this. Now I'm really impressed. Cannot fathom how that device works.

Chad Snaider
Chad Snaider

Ya but series is the best time to rest them because its against the cubs. We can beat the cubs even if we rest murph and wright

Mike Dell Italia
Mike Dell Italia

I'm an idiot bc I'm gunna stay and watch the 50 cent concert after the mets game. Please explain.

Chad Snaider
Chad Snaider

Just makes sense to rest players against the cubs rather then resting them against the giants

theglider
theglider

Yep. Had an accident in 2012. Left me unable to walk or use my hands anymore.

90wins
90wins

@Chad Snaider I've watched the Mets lose a series against the Dbacks at home. You never know with the Mets.

stage52
stage52

@Mike Dell Italia Good thing Tony Soprano  is no longer around or you could be getting whacked right now.

theglider
theglider

They'll rest Murphy against the lefty. Wright hits well at Wrigley but we 'll see.

72tilltc
72tilltc

@theglider I am sorry to hear that. I hope you dont take my jabs personally . We are 2 Met fans that want our team to win. I represent many folks who have been injured in accidents so I can understand a little bit of what you must feel. I hope you are well and happy it seems as if you get some comfort from sports and blogging.

Mike Dell Italia
Mike Dell Italia

That show sucked, worst dressed mobster on the planet. And your jokes suck as well don't quit ur day job

theglider
theglider

Thanks. It's tough sometimes. There are good days and not so good days. But I'm I'm alive and that's always a good thing.

stage52
stage52

@Mike Dell Italia  Lol  A nice Italian boy going to a 50 cent concert.  What is this world coming to? By the way I am retired.  I Paid my dues.  I am just F #%^ing with ya  lol

stage52
stage52

@theglider  Life is far better than the Alternative!  Been there ,Done that !

72tilltc
72tilltc

@theglider The fact that you can type and communicate is great. Do you mind if i ask your age were you around when Ed Charles played.

theglider
theglider

I was born nine days after the franchise was officially announced back in 1961. Loved him as a player.

In 1983 I was at a game and waited outside Shea after. Darryl Strawberry came out and was signing autographs for the kids. I was standing with a friend when I saw an older man come out of the stadium, carrying his bag. I looked, saw who it was and yelled, "Hey Glider! How about an autograph?"

He stopped, looked at me and said "I'm 50 years old, black as the ace of spades and haven't played in 15 years, but you still remember the Glider?"

A footnote; Strawberry stopped signing and told the kids to go get Charles' autograph because he was a champion.

True story.

jenkins
jenkins

@theglider My mom and I used to wait outside the Mets clubhouse at the Polo Grounds when the players were coming in. She asked me their first names and then would go up to them and ask for autographs for her son.


We got Al Jackson, Duke Snider, Jim Hickman, Frank Thomas, and Richie Ashburn among others.

72tilltc
72tilltc

@theglider I was born June 6 1961 but I don't remember seeing Ed Charles. The 69 WS was more of Novel to me. I started watching in 71 and became a diehard in 72. Saw Ken singleton hit 2 in September game saw Buddy steal his 28th base. Rusty won me over when he stepped out of a limo eating a pint of Vanilla ice cream and mussing my hair.

stage52
stage52

@jenkins @theglider  The Polo grounds . Now that brings me back. I think my dad only took me to the Polo grounds because he was a NY Giants fan. We only went to early Met games to see the Met's get beat up by the S. F. Giants.  LOL  I figured it out years later but got to see a lot of  Mays and McCovey hit balls out of the park.  Gaylord Perry was good too.

theglider
theglider

People on here have no idea who John Milner was or how good a pitcher Koosman was (he was the pitcher in the first game I ever went to), and mention Grants Tomb and they think you're referring to the President.

72tilltc
72tilltc

@theglider I was a huge Jon Matlack fan Niese reminds me of him but Jon had a better FB broke so many bats. I remember Phil Niekro 3 hitting the Mets in Milners rookie year John had all three hits and a HR. I still wish Stearns would have been the catcher on the 86 -90 teams.