MLB: New York Mets at Philadelphia Phillies

Zack Wheeler had the Phillies leery and guessing

Zack Wheeler dominated the Phillies on Thursday, striking out nine, he walked no one, and allowed just one run in 6 1/3 innings.

“I can actually smile after a start now,” Wheeler said after the game. ““I was moving it all around the place today. I was able to do that with control. It makes it easy for me instead of having to stay out there and battle the whole time.”

In 11 starts this season, Wheeler is 2-5 with a 4.31 ERA, during which he’s struck out 62 batters in 62 innings.

“He finally knows he belongs here,” Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen said (Daily News, May 30). “He’s thrown several games that I’ve really liked, but he is getting more focused. He knows he doesn’t have to overthrow, he can relax and let the ball go. His stuff beats anybody, he doesn’t have to make it any better.”

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

I loved this start from Wheeler, mostly because he pitched so well inside. He’s done this before, but he was extra successful against the Phillies, I’m thinking maybe because they have so many left-handed hitters. In either case, the Phillies looked reluctant to lean out and chase a weak pitch outside. They weren’t hitting his mistakes, because he clearly had them guessing. This was very encouraging…

He’s trending toward ending the season with an ERA around 4.00 ERA and roughly 200 strike outs and 180 innings, which would be an incredible first full season in the big leagues. He looked a lot more consistent with his delivery on Thursday. 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. However, he 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 becomes that consistent, dominant, front-end starting pitcher we all expect him to be.




38 comments
stage52
stage52

Wheeler had a real good start and the Bullpen did an awesome job.  Enough Said !

cmetsfan
cmetsfan

With the pen improving, 6 inning starts like that should be okay. There's no rush over the next 4-5 games for him to be more efficient, but he's got the stuff and brains, so a tweak, instead of a overhaul should come. If it's his grips, there's legal ways to help grips. If there's tipping, there's varying ways to help tipping. If he's hiding the ball and varying pitches enough, combined with dialing it up occasionally, his dominance can be refined. 

pochemu
pochemu

So 62ks in 62 innings projects to 200ks in 180 inning?


Interesting math.

Macacawitz
Macacawitz

The Mets are currently in the middle of an 11 game stretch against the Pirates, Phillies and Cubs; three teams that currently sit 25th, 26th and 27th in MLB team batting.


They stink.


It's time for the pitchers to pitch and the hitters to hit.  After this stretch things get tough.  The Mets desperately need a 6 or 7 game winning streak. 


Let's hope they can clean up on the soft underbelly of a schedule they have for the next week. 

rstpigeon
rstpigeon

I really hope Wheeler builds on this. The Phils are just awful right now and Wheeler's performance was good enough to get past them. But 108 pitches in <7 innings, <2:1 strikes to balls speaks of a pitcher battling every at bat - that's good. But it isn't "dominating".


Wheeler's got dominance in him. He needs to repeat this performance with renewed confidence and pound the zone. All along, he's just needed to go out and pitch. He's been overthinking his outings and not adjusting, like he's developing - determined to establish a pitch, whether it's working or not.


If he's got half the competitiveness that Harvey has, I'm sure he's tearing the start down the same way. He can kick ass, he just needs to get down to business and do it.

Bob Burket
Bob Burket

Love it that the starting pitching is so consistent . Would rather have it this way than wonder if we are going to be able to get anyone out.

Bob Burket
Bob Burket

I have to say that I was in the group that wanted to see Zack maybe sent to AAA. I guess I was wrong. Like Keith says, competition is good.

bigdirty
bigdirty

this is called talent development. this is called making adjustments. I remeber watching wheeler in an early spring trainging game and he looked wicked. Last night he looked even better. I expect Zach to hit a few speed bumps. As a fan i kinda want him to. Getting beat up on the way to becoming better is a way of life. If everything came easy to early a pitcher with Zachs ability might never fully realize his potential. Its not just about his power fastball that was still 94-95 in the 7th! Its not all about k's though he is ont eh way to 200 this year. its about also developing that out pitch.. His curve ball was probably one of teh most electric i have seen from a mets pitcher in year. Mixing that with a 95mph fastball..WOW


This kid is electric. He needs to develop. He will. The ceiling for Zach is staff ace but even if he become a legit #2 or #3 for a contending team, thats a WIN. 

mets1973
mets1973

The thing that impressed me was the command of his curve ball. He really had command of that pitch.

seltzerm
seltzerm

It was really good to see Wheeler still throwing hard in the 7th inning.  Too many times earlier this year he would start out throwing 95-96 in the first and then 90-92 by the 5th or 6th.

Marc Singleton
Marc Singleton

 “I can actually smile after a start now,” Wheeler said after the game.


That's the most optimistic, feel good sentence I've read on Metsblog in a long time!  Good for Wheels!  Now lets get Thor up here and then make a trade for some real major league hitters , and keep the good feelings rolling.  

Zach Goeringer
Zach Goeringer

When Wheeler came up they said he was better than Harvey. Syndergaard is a month away and they say he is the best of the 3. The one thing i have learned from this whole situation is that everybody is an individual, everyone develops in different ways and its very dangerous to compare them to each other. Because Wheeler came into his first full season struggling rather than dominating like Harvey doesn't mean that it cant all click for him and he can't be a top tier pitcher. I'm tired of comparing him to Harvey and Syndergaard and every other first round pick in history. All I hope for Zack Wheeler is that he is better than he was in his start before and continues to learn with every game, because the stuff is clearly there.

William Kelley
William Kelley

Definitely a great start. He was getting his breaking pitches over which made his fast ball electric. Duda looks lost though and line up is totally dependent on top three despite C Young's two hits. Once again offense was reliant on walks and errors. Still a long way to go.

MetsFan1962
MetsFan1962

Wheeler was certainly on his game last night. If he can maintain this level of pitching the future looks brighter for him and us fans. Lets Go Zack and Lets Go Mets!

mettle
mettle

Just a coincidence, but Wheeler pitches his best game of the year after Montero and deGrom show they can pitch at the major league level?  Competition is a beautiful thing.

Albert E Lewis
Albert E Lewis

How about those Marlins..tied for 1st place with a 48 million dollar payroll and no Fernandez.

nolrog
nolrog

It was a good start, but he needs to get more efficient with his pitches.  108 pitches in 6.1 innings is too many.  He needs to be able to get thru the 7th and even into the 8th with that many pitches.  Lots of good sings though.

Albert E Lewis
Albert E Lewis

Wheeler is looking better.. but hes always had good stuff..every pitcher that has good stuff doesn't always pan out anyone remember Todd Van Poppel..Oaklands 1st round pick of 1990?Also Chipper jones ,Mike Mussina and Tony Clark came from that draft.

mets2891
mets2891

I have to be honest, this is the first time I've seen Vic Black and two things struck me

1) He looks like a young Kiefer Sutherland

2) His stuff is absolutely nasty

Rob_Zloto
Rob_Zloto

@metsblog quotes are encouraging, almost sounds like a light came on for him. Let's see if he carries it over

ken1010
ken1010

Wheeler and Mejia both looked great yesterday, and the Phillies looked old and sloppy in the field.

For a day, all is right with the world.

Albert E Lewis
Albert E Lewis

@Zach Goeringer Harvey is Harvey.. but I see Wheeler as a 15-9 3.50 era 180k's in 210 innings type sort of like Ron Darling.

mets2891
mets2891

The point is a start like last night shows that the talent is there.  That's very important, especially when you look at someone like d'Arnaud who has shown NOTHING since he's been called up.

11gilkey
11gilkey

@jimmybxnyc Here come's Jimmybx looking to put down a white guy and stick up for a Hispanic.  Your racist shtick is so tired. The Mets were going nowhere that year and were not going to re-sign Beltran with his health issues.  It was a good trade whether it pans out or not.  Wheeler has the potential.  Sometime it works out and sometime it doesn't.  He's only 23 years old and maturing as a pitcher.  It doesn't happen over night.  The Harveys of the world are the exception.  But I know they are too white for you.  

TheJMan
TheJMan

@jimmybxnyc


regardless--you had to trade Beltran and you got SF's top pitching prospect


that talent is there

the good sign is 1 walk over the past 2 starts and really 3 over the past 3 [I think], although he got lit up in third one

he's gotta keep it going for sure--let's see it

spelletrader
spelletrader

With a .528 win percentage. The NL east is terrible, that doesn't make the Marlins good.

Albert E Lewis
Albert E Lewis

@nolrog Yep and he will get better the more he pitches no substitute for experience.

Charles Gustafson
Charles Gustafson

@mets2891 As long as they don't overwork him. That seems to be the problem these days. Arm problems? Seems to be a Met scenario with Dan Worthen as pitching coach. What has changed in workout routines? They try to compare today's pitchers with those from the past. The big name pitchers went the distance, 110-160 pitches. Today, if they get to 90 pitches everyone is looking at the bullpen. Six innings is considered a quality start. Then you get your one inning wonders. 

Bob Burket
Bob Burket

@Albert E Lewis  Wheeler has the potential to be way better than Darling ever was. Darling although very good didn't have the electric stuff that Wheels has.

Charles Gustafson
Charles Gustafson

@mets2891 One thing you will notice about the two backup catchers. They both give their pitchers a target to throw to. D'Arnauld doesn't put up a target until the last second. 

theglider
theglider

Folks, Jimmy would have kept Beltran, lost him as a free agent, got nothing in return then complained that we should have traded Beltran to get something back.

Don't you know he's always correct?

nagel100
nagel100

getting Wheeler was a steal.  mets were  going to compete for  a while.  2015 seems like the right year.wheeler will turn 24 today and is a legit starter with excellent stuff.  he needs some time to put it all together but right now he just threw a masterpiece and beltran is on the DL.  


Mets  had mande some great moves lately with their trades.  that can't stop now.  next year you have to hope that Harvey and Noah are 2 of our five starters.  Wheeler, DeGrom  Montero, Neise and Gee make 7.  Colon makes 8 .  at least 2 will get moved and everyone knows we need hitting.  My choice is keep the young cheap guys and move Colon and Gee.  that could free up 15 million to be used on a hitter.  


our bullpen now looks really good.  we just need a power lefty to compliment Mejia, Familla, Balck and hopefully Parnell ( by mid season next year) 


Alderson has work to do.

Albert E Lewis
Albert E Lewis

@spelletrader Better than us.they have a winning record..with a payroll almost half of what ours is.

BigTrain
BigTrain

@Charles Gustafson @mets2891 Bingo!  I know a Wheeler family member in Smyrna, GA and he just pointed this out about D'Arnauld this morning.  Told me Travis is overwhelmed trying to study video to learn the hitters while struggling to find his swing.  Says he's a good kid but he and Zack are "learning the ropes" together.  Feels more comfortable with Recker behind the plate.

Zach Goeringer
Zach Goeringer

@BigTrain @Charles Gustafson @mets2891 d'arnaud is far and away the best at framing pitches out of the 3 catchers. There's so many details that go into the catching position that for the most part one catcher will always do something better than another given catcher.