Solid Wheeler dealt another no-decision
July, 26, 2014
By Joe Totoraitis | Special to ESPNNewYork.com
AP Photo/Jeffrey PhelpsZack Wheeler, who fanned nine over 6 2/3 innings Friday, narrowly avoided another hard-luck loss.MILWAUKEE -- Zack Wheeler kept the Milwaukee Brewers guessing, and it paid off for him and the New York Mets.
"I think I was a little effectively wild throughout the game," he said after earning his eighth no-decision this season. "A couple of them got away from me, then I was able to dot a few of them up. I was able to get some of my speed over and some of it not. So I think I was effectively wild throughout the game. It worked to my advantage this time."
The 24-year-old right-hander threw 108 pitches, 72 for strikes. He struck out nine, one shy of his season high. He walked two and increased his team-leading hit-batters total to nine by plunking two more.
He credits the success to having a better understanding of being a major league pitcher.
"I was able to repeat all my mechanics," he said. "That’s probably the biggest thing for me is just repeating everything."
Wheeler held the Brewers to just one hit until the sixth, when Milwaukee pushed across a run.
He walked Rickie Weeks to start the inning. When second baseman Daniel Murphy failed to field Ryan Braun’s ground-hugging liner, Weeks raced all the way to second. The next batter, Aramis Ramirez, grounded to short. Ruben Tejada fielded the ball, flipped it to Murphy, whose throw just failed to get Ramirez in a close play. Weeks scored on the play and gave Milwaukee an unearned run.
Carlos Gomez had the first hit of the game on a softly hit ball to Murphy that Gomez beat out. Then, he hit his 15th home run leading off the seventh to give Milwaukee starter Yovani Gallardo a two-run cushion.
Murphy and Duda rescued the Mets, but Wheeler wasn't surprised.
"That’s why I never doubt these guys," he said. "I know the bats will eventually come around, and they did. That’s two games in a row for me now that they got me off the hook. [Lucas] Duda comes up clutch in big situations."
Daisuke Matsuzaka update: He’s scheduled to have an MRI on Saturday.