After a 10-pitch, 1-2-3 inning in the first, things quickly unraveled for the Mets’ Zack Wheeler. He hit two batters, walked two more and gave up a run-scoring single in the second.
What can you make of his outing?
On the surface, understand it is only his first start of the spring, but other assumptions can be made of his 47-pitch outing.
Thirty-seven pitches are way too many and indicate, 1) a lack of command, and 2) an inability to put away hitters and close out an inning.
If Wheeler is to reach the next level, he must learn to slam the door when he gets in of trouble. Yes, a questionable umpire’s call went against him, but good pitchers overcome such things. They happen, just as broken-bat bloop hits and fielding errors. A good pitcher can’t let such things get to him.
Obviously, command remains an issue, as 47 total pitches over two innings is a wasted start. Normally, that many pitches should get a pitcher into and possibly through the fourth inning.
Of course, it is early. However, Wheeler entered the spring with a checklist of issues to work on, including command, not letting things bother him, and working out of trouble.
Nothing has changed.
Note: Marlins lead, 9-1, bottom of the fourth.