Mets RHP Zack Wheeler needed 27 pitches to get through the first inning against the Yankees on Tuesday, during which he let up two-run home run to Brian McCann.
He had thrown 57 pitches by the end of the second inning, 81 after three innings. He ended up throwing 118 pitches to 24 batters before being pulled with one out in the fifth inning. He walked six batters, struck out two, gave up seven hits and was charged with five runs.
“He warmed up great in the bullpen, and then he went out there and I think he tried a little too hard,” pitching coach Dan Warthen said after the game (ESPN, May 14). “He couldn’t control his emotions.”
Wheeler walked five batters in six innings against the Marlins in his last start.
“You can’t do that up here,” manager Terry Collins said after Tuesday’s win against the Yankees. “You’ve got to trust your stuff.”
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
I’m starting to worry about Wheeler. His ball is just too wild, his mechanics are often out of sync, he doesn’t repeat his delivery and he ends up with too many runners on base for a place like Yankee Stadium. It doesn’t help that every good pitcher in baseball, who starts to struggle, seems to end up having Tommy John surgery, so now that has to be a concern, despite it being ruled by fear and zero evidence.
Lastly, and maybe more concerning than anything else, is all this talk from coaches about his emotions. He’s made almost 100 professional starts, he’s 23-years-old and been in professional baseball since 2010. He’s been a highly-touted prospect and lived with the New York media and fans for more than year. He knows the deal. Yet, he can’t control his emotions, they say, and I never see him make adjustments during the game. Again, he’s allowed to stumble, especially at his age. It’s a cat-and-mouse game and I’m hoping he’s just in a setback phase from which he’ll emerge even better. But, I’m worried nevertheless, probably because I know how much of this organization’s future is riding on the depth of their young pitching.