Wheeler Giants manager Bruce Bochy implied to Bay Area media that Wheeler may have been upset about Pence taking a big swing at a 2-0 pitch immediately preceding the plunking.
“I’d be ticked off too," Bochy said, according to the San Jose Mercury News. "He took a healthy cut there and that’s about all I’ll say, and then he gets hit in the ribs. These things happen and they usually take care of themselves.”
Oftentimes, pitchers publicly say they did not hit a batter on purpose to avoid getting fined, then wink off the record afterward. But Wheeler was particularly insistent to ESPNNewYork.com that there was no intent.
The ex-Giants farmhand said he lacked control of his fastball Sunday, when he allowed four runs and required 86 pitches to throw 3 2/3 innings. Wheeler also noted that he would not purposely put the leadoff man on base with none out, as was the case when he hit Pence to open the bottom of the third inning with a 2-1 pitch, immediately after the big swing. Pence ended up scoring.
The Mets and Giants play at Citi Field from Aug. 1-4. Stay tuned.