Wheel deals in 10th major league start
August, 11, 2013
By Adam Rubin | ESPNNewYork.com
Ralph Freso/Getty ImagesZack Wheeler improved to 5-2 with a 3.63 ERA.PHOENIX -- New York Mets rookie Zack Wheeler found it hard to believe he has now made 10 major league starts.
"It's already 10 starts?" Wheeler asked after limiting the Arizona Diamondbacks to one run in 6 1/3 innings in a 4-1 win on Saturday night. "It definitely is going fast. It doesn't even feel like it. I'm definitely enjoying it, trying to learn something new every day and just hold my own up here."
Wheeler now owns a 5-2 record and 3.63 ERA.
He took a scoreless effort into the seventh before surrendering a leadoff homer on his 100th pitch, a curveball to Aaron Hill. Wheeler did not walk a batter for the first time since his promotion. He had 28 walks in 50 2/3 innings entering the start.
"You don't walk guys and you've got his stuff, you're going to win games," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "If you don't put people on, you make them swing the bat -- hitting is hard. And hitting a guy with that kind of stuff is real hard. If he continues to not walk people, he's going to win a lot of games."
Wheeler also was able to maintain his velocity throughout the outing. His fastball averaged 95 mph and ranged from 93 to 96 mph.
"I know it's been dropping a little bit as I go later in the games, but I felt strong when I came out," Wheeler said.
Wheeler thought he found something two starts earlier against the Marlins, when he took a scoreless effort into the seventh.
"Ever since Miami, I just found something," Wheeler said. "I don't even know what it is. But it's flowing right now and it feels good, and it allows me to throw downhill and sharpens up my off-speed pitches a little bit."
Collins noted that with Matt Harvey and Wheeler, plus with what is on the way, the Mets are in good shape. Rafael Montero allowed one run on two hits in seven innings for Triple-A Las Vegas on Saturday night. Noah Syndergaard tossed five scoreless innings for Double-A Binghamton.
"We continue to look down the road saying, those two young guys that we've got, and with more coming, it's going to be pretty fun here real soon," Collins said.