For fans of the New York Mets, Zack Wheeler’s MLB debut was worth the wait. Wheeler threw six shutout innings, striking out seven, and looking the part of a big-time prospect, as he helped the Mets sweep a double header against the NL East leading Atlanta Braves.
If making his big league debut against the class of the National League within an hour of his hometown wasn’t hard enough, Wheeler also had to follow the performance of Matt Harvey earlier in the day. In Game 1 of the double header, Harvey struck out 13 and took a no hitter into the seventh inning. But despite the added pressure, Wheeler followed Harvey’s performance with six shutout innings of his own, doing so against a far more formidable Brave’s lineup in the nightcap of the double header than the lineup Harvey faced earlier in the day.
Of course, it wasn’t all smooth sailing for Wheeler. He clearly had nerves early on, and struggled with his control, which has been a concern for him throughout his minor-league career. Although he walked five batters, Wheeler wasn’t afraid of attacking hitters with electric fastball, which allowed him to get out of trouble when pitching with runners on base.
While he was far from perfect in his big-league debut, Wheeler showed flashes of greatness. He showed that he has the potential to shut down a lineup full of talented hitters and get major league hitters out with ease.
Together, Wheeler and Harvey rang in a new era in Mets baseball. Tuesday’s double header was supposed to be all about the future for the Mets and a sign of things to come. If the performances by Wheeler and Harvey are signs of things to come, then the future might finally be looking bright for the Mets.