Zack Wheeler tossed an impressive, 111-pitch, three-hit shutout Thursday as the Mets beat the Marlins.
He is youngest Mets player to throw a 1-0 shutout since Dwight Gooden in 1985, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
“He showed you tonight exactly what we’ve been talking about all along,” Terry Collins said of Wheeler after the game.
Collins had Jeurys Familia and Josh Edgin warming up in the bullpen, but eventually chose to leave Wheeler in the game.
“It was his night,” Collins said. “That’s why I said, ‘I’m going to run him back out there. I don’t care what his pitch count is, he’s earned it.’ He was outstanding.”
Wheeler said he was inspired watching Clayton Kershaw’s no-hitter the night before, further fueled by Collins telling him how Kershaw asked permission to watch Wheeler’s bullpen session when the team was in Los Angeles (NY Times, June 20).
“I know I can do it every time out. I know I have the stuff,” said Wheeler, who faced one more than the minimum 27 batters in the game. “I made a few mistakes, but sometimes they cost you, sometimes they don’t. Today they didn’t.”
In 14 starts this season, he is 2-7 with a 4.38 ERA and 79 strike outs through 78 innings pitched.
He has a 3.84 ERA spanning 31 career starts.
“He’s got the stuff,” David Wright said after the game. “With him, it’s just a matter of pounding the strike zone, throwing all of his pitches for strikes, not falling behind and just having to throw fastballs. Because I don’t care how hard you throw in this league, it’s going to get hit if they know it’s coming, if they know you can’t throw other pitches for strikes.”