Mets Wrap: Zack Wheeler Shows Mettle In Defeat

The New York Mets believe Zack Wheeler will be an anchor in their rotation for a long time to come. He took the loss against Washington Wednesday night, but showed more than enough of the right stuff to say this is going to be a stud pitcher to build around.

Easily, the most important thing Wheeler demonstrated was poise under pressure. He pitched out of a second-and-third, one-out jam in the first; escaped a runner on second and one-out threat in the fourth; and got out of a runners on the corners with two outs problem in the seventh.

WHEELER: Dealing big time. (AP)

WHEELER: Dealing big time. (AP)

It was great to see Wheeler challenge hitters with his fastball, especially inside. And the control issues he had earlier, well, just one walk.

“This guy competes on the mound,’’ manager Terry Collins said. “With his stuff, in first inning, he did a great job getting out of that jam. I’m impressed with the way Zack Wheeler has pitched.’’

Wheeler made one bad pitch, that being a slider left over the plate Ryan Zimmerman crushed for a homer in the sixth. It was the first homer he gave up in 36 innings, remarkable for a rookie.

Vic Black, who could get a look at the closer role in spring training if Bobby Parnell hasn’t recovered from neck surgery, gave up two runs in the eighth to make it the 3-0 final.

Offensively, the Mets managed three hits as they were shut out for the second time in this series. With the loss the Mets fell a season-low 16 games below .500. It wasn’t too long ago .500 and catching the Nationals for second-place wasn’t an unrealistic goal.

Oh, by the way, with the loss the Mets were mathematically eliminated, crushing news, I know, to those who kept on dreaming.

Once again the Mets are in full swoon mode, especially offensively, in the second half. They have lost three straight, five of their last six games, and are 2-8 so far this month.

Including the Nationals Thursday, the Mets have just four games against winning teams (three with Cincinnati) the rest of the season.

Collins didn’t say the word, but he might as well called his offense clueless.

“You have to figure out what the opposing pitcher is doing to get you out,’’ Collins said. “And you have to make adjustments.’’

Clearly, the Mets aren’t making those adjustments.

Newly-acquired Aaron Harang will start for the Mets Thursday afternoon in an effort to avoid the sweep.

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6 thoughts on “Mets Wrap: Zack Wheeler Shows Mettle In Defeat

  1. So we are done.

    Not a surprise.

    There are a lot of good things to take out of this season.

    The emergence of Wheeler
    The dominance of Harvey
    The prospect of Legares
    The promotion of Flores
    The acquisition of Young
    The anointing of Parnell as our closer

    These are all good signs. The season was a success because of the above.

    • dave: Sure it was. There’s positives to build on, but questions remain. I’m thinking 2014 without Matt Harvey, so adding a starter should be the priority.-JD

      • Yes. It is prudent to assume Matt will not be with the team next year.

        The question is what to do? Do you spend $4-8M on a veteran? Do you promote one of the kids?

        I would think they will do the later as our arms are very good ( and cheap ). I rather they spend the money on an OF so we can plug the gaping hole that is the OF.

    • I would be curious to look up 2006.

      We used a new pitcher every week. The hitters were solid and mostly healthy. The pitching was hurt and there was a constant stream of bodies pitching from game to game.

  2. bringbacksadeki: Would love to see Sadeki back on the blog. He brought a lot to the table, even though we didn’t always see eye to eye. I was aware of the number of players on the roster as I am constructing a By The Numbers piece for the end of the season. What is staggering is they’ve had over 100 different lineups.-JD