MLB: New York Mets at Philadelphia Phillies

Sunday was the worst start of Zack Wheeler’s career

Mets RHP Zack Wheeler made the shortest start of his career Sunday, lasting just 3 2/3 innings and letting up four runs, as the Mets lost to the Giants

“He wasn’t really as sharp as he has been,” Terry Collins said after the game. “The command of his fastball was not there today. He pretty much had to go to his off-speed stuff to get some swings. Normally, when he’s on, his fastball is dynamic.”

Wheeler dominated in his previous two starts against the Phillies and Cubs.

“I didn’t pitch well,” Wheeler later said. “I didn’t really have fastball command. Everything else was working for me. Just the fastball command was off, and it’s kind of hard to pitch and get ahead of guys when you don’t have that.”

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

He’s still trending toward ending the season with an ERA around 4.00 ERA and roughly 200 strike outs and 180 innings, which would be a very good, first full season in the big leagues. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I think Faith and Fear in Flushing’s Greg Prince is right, when he told me, Wheeler (like most young pitchers) is going to have two good starts for every bad start. These last three are a testament to Prince’s statement. However, he added, Wheeler has enough talent that he should eventually make that three good starts for every bad start, then four good for every bad, then five, and so on, until he one day grows in to being the consistent, dominant, front-end starting pitcher we all expect him to be.




34 comments
Chris Biehl
Chris Biehl

he still hasn't even pitched a full season in MLB yet

Rich
Rich

Wheeler has the goods he will be fine.  It wasn't a good outing, but the outing against the Yankees was his worst.  Did Cerone even watch this game? Wheeler wasn't horrible it was just a struggle for him, and I agree with him being pulled rather than waste his arm on a meaningless game. 

Justin Kaiser
Justin Kaiser

Realistically, he's just learning the game...

Justin Kaiser
Justin Kaiser

That's only because the New York media built him up to be Harvey.

iamwilpon
iamwilpon

I have never seen Zach Wheeler and Mike Pelfrey in the same room together. Hmmmm....

stage52
stage52

Wheeler could have pitched a couple more innings but his manager is Senile you know. 

mets81
mets81

I can't believe that Matt described this as the worst start of Wheeler's career.  Certainly, Wheeler didn't look all that sharp yesterday, but he struck out 6, walked 2, and didn't give up any homeruns.  All that happened is that more balls fell in then usual, which probably had something do with the way the balls were hit, but almost certainly also had a lot to do with luck. The most notable thing about this start is how many swings and misses Wheeler got even though his stuff wasn't that good.   

bigdirty
bigdirty

He just got his 30th mlb start yesterday and is 23 years old. There are times where he is just filthy/electric/beast mode and he is only 23 years old. There are times he loses control of his pitches/ can't get out of a jam and is hit table...he is only 23 years old.

I believe this kid is getting better. Over the last month he has shown me that he has a presence and is a bit of a bulldog. He has shown me that he is learning to pitch and not just throw...and his secondary pitches are starting to come along. He is on pace for 200 ka and a 4.00 era. If he really plus it together hen and get a mid 3 era. If nothing else is accomplished by the orginazation other than Wheeler develops into a pitcher, the year has been successful.

Everyone talks about Noah's, monetro, Travis needing to develop this year and forget wheeler but if only wheeler develops the mets have a rotation starting with Harvey and wheeler for a long time. That's all the mets need.

Darrell Smith
Darrell Smith

I was hoping that after his last 2 starts that he was over the hump , but he had a majior setback yesterday. I hate to say this and alot of u will disagree , but he needs to be sent down and get his command and control problems ironed out. Frankie V is there and I'm sure should be able to help him. 

Macacawitz
Macacawitz

His lack of control is the biggest concern.  He's got the stuff and has many things working for him, like pitching in the NL with no DH in a pitcher friendly ballpark.  If he's in the AL east his ERA is probably at least a point higher.  It would certainly help to have a catcher for these young pitchers with a better practical knowledge of the hitters, but that's not the way we roll in Sandyland.

theglider
theglider

Here's an idea; let's trade Wheeler and Wright for more prospects. Because replacing a gold glove third baseman should almost be as easy as finding another 23 year old who can throw bullets.

bugsy
bugsy

Wheeler's Era is 4.19.

It is not "trending" towards 4

It's 4.19.

It's an average, not a trend.


The MLB ERA is 3.80

the Mets era is 3.70

Wheeler's 4.19 is not a good first year.

He's a pitcher who is well below the league average.


There is no indication here that soon he will be having 3 starts for every 1 bad one, and that after that he will have 4 starts for every bad one, and so on and so forth. 


He could become the dominant front of the rotation starter that many fans hoped he would be, but so far he doesn't seem to be "trending" in that direction at all.

So far, he's "trending" towards being a very erratic back end of the rotation starter.


Albert E Lewis
Albert E Lewis

This team needs hitting.. if it doesnt get better hitters.. it will continue to suffer..pitchers like Wheeler will end up 9-14 with a 3.50 ERA type records.What did Harvey have last year a 2.27 ERA? and only won 9 games in 170 something innings.

Vincent Santiago
Vincent Santiago

The guy who has no fire in his belly is going to strike out 200 batters this year.  Zach Wheeler is a stud and we need to let the guy just grow as a pitcher.  His location with his fastball hurts him when he is off.  It also doesn't help him that every time he's pitched a good game this year he's gotten 0 run support.  If deGrom comes out this week and gives up another 2 or 3 runs you guys will be down his throat too.  Starting pitching isn't this teams problem. Not everyone is going to be Harvey and get out there looking like a 10 year vet on his way to 300 wins, its not going to happen.  When Syndaarguard gets here and he loses 3 in a row will you then be talking about how its another bust of a Alderson move?  Lord you guys have to get a grip.  The problem with this team is the offense.  You can get by with a starting pitcher who has an ERA of 4 and strikes out 200 and pitches 180 innings, thats a 15million dollar pitcher these days. 

Mau Agudelo
Mau Agudelo

The problem is that the mets were expecting wheeler to lead the staff this year and he hasn't and might not ever. When u wait four years for this guy you expect more than what u r grtting

herblehman
herblehman

Yesterday was not Wheeler's worst start of the year - I thought his performance vs. the Yankees was quite a bit worse. The difference is that this time he was pulled faster. Be that as it may, I think Wheeler will be fine. His stuff is too good for him not to have some success on this level. For every Matt Harvey for whom everything clicks right away, there are fifty Zack Wheelers, pitchers who have the raw ability but need to take their lumps and learn how to pitch. 

BringBackDaveTelghe
BringBackDaveTelghe

How is Wheeler "trending" to an ERA of 4.00, four months from now?  He can easily string together a great streak and be at 3 or sub 3 by the end or can conversely keep getting battered around and be in the high 4's to 5.  Talk about hedging your bets...

xplr
xplr

How is it that almost none of Sandy's moves actually wok out?

Glenn Blasius
Glenn Blasius

Guys got no fire in his belly.  Compare his comments to Matt Harvey's comments after pitching a game.  Wheeler's talking as if he's on a 7 yr 100mn contract.   He's making the MLB minimum wage, and treating his walk-fests like something we should all swallow.   Remember his performance against the Yankees?  Unbelieveable.


When he's off, he's unwatchable.    

stage52
stage52

@iamwilpon  I do not think Ronald MacDonald and you have been seen together either.  Hmmmmmmmm............

stage52
stage52

@Darrell Smith Wheeler looked like he was rushing his delivery  similar to some starts  before he had the 2 really good  starts. 

Vincent Santiago
Vincent Santiago

@theglider Might as well get rid of Niese. You know because he's under a team friendly contract and has value as one of the better lefty starters in the league and thats also pretty easy to find.  

Alen Teplitsky
Alen Teplitsky

@bugsy go look at Verlander's first year in the majors. i think he was around 4.80.


4.19 for a rookie year pitcher is pretty good. especially for someone who has a good fastball but no secondary pitches. he's probably being told to practice the secondaries even if he loses games, just to practice.

stage52
stage52

@Glenn Blasius  Lou Gehrig was about as quiet as the come.  I guess he had no fire in his belly according to your standards .

BringBackDaveTelghe
BringBackDaveTelghe

@Glenn Blasius "No fire in his belly".  Yeah, that's what we want is a bunch of guys with "fire", who cares about actual talent.  He's an extremely talented young kid that's learning how to pitch on days he doesn't have his control.  What's he supposed to say?  Hey...I threw a shutout last itme and we still lost and I was terrible this time and we still lost?"  Get a clue.

Benji Isabel
Benji Isabel

I liken it to constantly drawing to an inside straight.