Zack Wheeler was at the top of his game Wednesday night's Mets’ 4-1 win.
Wheeler allowed one run over seven innings, struck out seven ,and walked one in an impressive season debut.
It the first time the "Fireball Five,” as Gary Cohen refers to them, started five consecutive games, and that has to be particularly meaningful to Wheeler. Zack has often been the forgotten man, injured man, or the odd man out. On Wednesday, he looked like a man on a mission.
Throughout his career, my biggest issue with Wheeler has been his lack of command. He has reminded me of John Maine: a power-arm pitcher that has little control over his fastball, and more often than not, is flirting with 100 pitches around the 5th inning. It can be frustrating to watch when you see what kind of raw talent he possesses.
But on Wednesday, Wheeler was attacking the zone on a consist basis, and needed just 83 pitches to get through seven. He was hitting targets, and he wasn’t always looking for the strikeout. Wheeler was getting easy outs by placing the ball where he needed to in and around the zone. This was the man we were promised and have waited for.
.@WheelerPro45 says tonight was very satisfying and he was happy with his outing. 💪🔥 #MetsWWWWWWWWin! pic.twitter.com/aRsAh7hlMB— New York Mets (@Mets) April 12, 2018
Finally, someone appears to have gotten through to Wheeler about challenging hitters. That's been Dave Eiland and Mickey Callaway's philosophy for practically everyone on the staff, and it was great to see Wheeler shift into attack mode. If Wheeler wants to remain in the rotation, this is the mentality he needs to take with him each and every start. Welcome back, Zack!
BACK AT IT! Kick off the 2023 home season with us at Citi Field on Thursday April 6th. The game is at 1:10pm so plan to be there bright and early. The Mets take on the Marlins, and as usual we'll be hanging out before in the Marina Lot.
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