Zack Wheeler took a no-decision in the Mets 4-1 victory last night in San Diego, allowing a run, on seven hits with a walk, and a career-high 12 strikeouts in six innings.
“I feel like I’m getting better every time out,” Wheeler said after the win. “It’s a learning experience. That’s the biggest thing. Every time out you learn something new. I didn’t think I had my best stuff today. I thought I was getting underneath the ball a little bit.”
Wheeler lowered his ERA to 3.43 for the year and he now has 29 walks and 57 strikeouts in 63 innings this season.
Still, Wheeler says he became focused on his strikeout total, which is something he regrets doing.
“After the second or third inning, I got a little carried away and I was trying to strike some people out and I lost a little command of my fastball,” he said. “It didn’t help. My pitch count went up,and I had to work a lot more.”
Michael Baron, ContributorWheeler’s right – his focus has to be on getting outs. not just strikeouts. This is part of his evolution and progression towards meeting the expectations as a big leaguer.
As for his night last night, I couldn’t help but think about what the future holds for this rotation. And, to have at least one more high-ceiling arm on the way makes me feel all the more energized about what lies ahead for this club, even if this season ends on September 29. This outing was a continuance of what he’s showed over his last couple of starts. He has awesome body language, he’s throwing his fastball for strikes, he has a quick tempo, and he’s maintaining his velocity from beginning-to-end, something he was struggling with over his first five starts. What’s more is he’s repeating his delivery with all of his pitches and looks free and easy out there now; that is something which the organization harps on with their young pitchers as they develop through the system.
Sure, there’s still work for him to do and lessons to be learned — such as the one he experienced last night with his strikeout approach — and there will be some more bumps and learning experiences as he continues to adjust. But, this evolutionary process is both fascinating and captivating, not just for Harvey and Wheeler, but for their entire group of young pitchers coming through the pipeline…