I’ve received two emails this morning asking me why Zack Wheeler was allowed to throw 114 pitches in Thursday’s 8-2 loss to the Washington Nationals – one short of his career high.
I couldn’t really tell you the exact reason why, but if I were to venture a guess I’d say it was because Terry Collins doesn’t trust his bullpen and also because he fears his offense can’t tack on runs.
Basically, the same two issues this team has suffered with over the last few seasons.
As to the first issue – the bullpen – in their first ten appearances this season, only one of them could be construed as good. The others were all bad. Shockingly bad.
As to the second reason – the inability to tack on runs – the Mets have been outscored 22-4 after the first inning, through the first three games of the season. Hopefully, that changes, but this was not what anyone expected to see with the additions of Curtis Granderson and Chris Young over the Winter, the latter of which is already on the disabled list.
All three Mets starters (Gee, Colon and Wheeler) tossed 100 or more pitches in their first starts of the season, and while I don’t subscribe to babying pitchers, it was still surprising to see that so early in the season and especially with temperatures still so cold in New York.
But I do believe what we’re seeing is a lack of faith by the manager to go to his bullpen and a fear that his team can’t score runs later in the games. The combination of both is weighing heavily on Collins’ decision to go as long as he can with his starters even if he’s pushing it to their limits. And this is not exactly something Collins is unfamiliar with.