Sustained Offense From New York Mets Can Help Zack Wheeler’s Development Into Top-Tier Pitcher
It’s been awhile since New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler could look up and see some crooked numbers on the scoreboard that went in his favor. For his sake, today was the day that the Mets finally put together a balanced scoring attack. We have seen the Mets’ bats come alive at home of late, but it just seems that every time Wheeler takes the mound the bats would go cold.
Today that just wasn’t the case, as the Mets’ offense exploded for 11 runs on 15 hits which comes as a huge relief for Wheeler. Throughout the year the Mets’ offense just wasn’t present at times in his starts. Wheeler now has made 22 starts on the season, and in 10 of those starts the Mets have scored three or less runs. The Mets also have lost nine times in Wheeler’s 22 starts in games decided by three or less runs.
The moral of the story is give the man some breathing room out there on the mound. He is not going to be lights out every time he takes the hill, even though over the month of July he has been one of the top pitchers in the game. In Wheeler’s last six starts he has been as good as it gets, allowing two runs or less in each of those starts. The only issue recently has been the lack of run support. Today he wasn’t at his best, but he limited the Philadelphia Phillies to two runs over 6.2 innings, recording four strikeouts and two walks.
Look, the Mets are not going to throw up 11 runs on the board every time Wheeler takes the mound. What I’m saying is that the offensive support needs to more consistent; they need to be capable of get him off the hook in a one run game. When he doesn’t have it, they can’t let the game fall on his shoulders which can happen when there is a lack of run support. It has been good that he has been involved in tight situations, but at the same time you hate seeing a guy throw a great game to lose 2-1.
With today’s 11-2 victory over the Phillies, Wheeler improves to 6-8 with a 3.60 ERA. He continues to develop into a legitimate top tier pitcher and will only get better as the season continues. Just like Matt Harvey last season, I look forward to seeing Wheeler take the ball every fifth day because something special is taking place.