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Saturday, August 16, 2014
Wheeler will be on tight leash vs. A's

By Adam Rubin

NEW YORK -- Zack Wheeler better be economical with his pitches when he takes the mound in Oakland on Wednesday opposite Jeff Samardzija.

Terry Collins said the Mets have a "330 rule" with young pitchers -- that the pitch total from three consecutive starts should not exceed 330.

Wheeler threw 112 pitches on Sunday at Philadelphia, then threw a career-high 120 pitches in Friday's series-opening win against the Cubs.

If that "330 rule" is a hard cap, that means Wheeler's leash may be 98 pitches against the A's.

Of course, it could be a tough decision to pull Wheeler that early if he keeps pitching like he has been of late. In his past nine starts, Wheeler is 5-0 with a 2.02 ERA.

The only major issue with him has been high pitch counts. For the season, Wheeler's 17.5 pitches per inning are tied with the Cubs' Edwin Jackson for the most of any qualified NL starter.