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Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Zack on Heyward HR: 'tough way to start'

By Adam Rubin

ATLANTA -- Zack Wheeler fell behind one batter into the bottom of the first inning Wednesday, when he surrendered a leadoff homer to Jason Heyward on the 11th pitch of their faceoff.

“It’s a tough way to start off the game, going that deep into the count and him hitting a home run to end the at-bat,” Wheeler said after an eventual 4-3 loss by the Mets to the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. “It’s a good at-bat for him. He just came out on top on that one.”

Wheeler then put up three scoreless frames before surrendering three runs in his fifth and final inning. Heyward got to him again for an RBI single. Two batters later, Freddie Freeman had a two-run single as Atlanta took a four-run lead.

“I had relatively quick innings after that first one -- other than the fifth,” Wheeler said. “I was feeling good there for a little bit. I still was there in the fifth. They just strung together a few good hits -- a lot of them singles. There’s nothing you can really do. You’ve just got to make your pitch, I guess, a little better.

“I was aggressive today. That was my goal coming into this year -- to be aggressive. Sometimes when you miss with your pitches they take advantage of it. Sometimes they don’t and you have a good game.”

Said Terry Collins about Wheeler’s performance after the first-inning homer: “After that I thought he pitched pretty good until the fifth inning, when all of a sudden that little extra wasn’t on his fastball. And he left some balls on the plate and they got some hits.”