It was a day of introductions for Zack Wheeler — we were introduced to our top pitching prospect and the young Wheeler was introduced to the anemic Mets offense. It was easy to tell that he had the jitters throughout the entire game, as the control was off throughout his six innings of work, but the stuff was there in full. And when I say the stuff was there — believe me, it was there. The Braves had baserunners in every inning, so Wheeler was dancing out of trouble all evening, but he ended up with a relatively clean line.
He scattered four hits over his six innings of work and allowed zero earned runs (the key), but did walk five batters. He struck out seven and really impressed me with his ability to reach back and make great pitches under pressure. There’s a great feeling that comes over when you watch certain players pitch — and even more so knowing that Wheeler is one of ours.
His fastball touched the high 90’s in the early parts of the game, 97/98, and sat at 95 MPH for the rest of it. For the most part, his fastball was exploding out of his soft and easy windup, and kept the Braves hitters off-balance. The curveball was equally as impressive to me, as he threw it and his slider in basically any count. His curve, fastball, and slider each demonstrated potential to be dominant and great late movement.
Wheeler pitched his heart out in his major league debut and I can’t overstate just how impressed I was… Anthony Recker ripped a two-run shot to give Wheeler a chance to win this game, by the way…so let’s hope!