It was just under a week ago that we all witnessed something that we had been waiting for. With no fault of our own, we let our hopes skyrocket for Zack Wheeler, and he delivered his best start in the major leagues, throwing a complete game three-hit shutout against the Miami Marlins.
What would he do for an encore?
As he reached back and fired his first pitch on Wednesday night, it appeared as if everything was going to be alright, with a strike down the middle against the Oakland A’s Coco Crisp. Wheeler was able to get Crisp to pop out and that was one of the last positives of his outing.
Wheeler lasted just two innings giving up six runs to the major league’s best team. It was his shortest outing in his career, and the fourth time this season that he was taken out before completing five innings. The six earned runs is the most he has given up in a start in his young career.
Danny Knobler of ESPN, mentions Wheeler was concerned in the second inning that the A’s were perhaps stealing signs. There is always cause for concern when the opposition has a runner at second that maybe something is being relayed to the hitter, but with nothing to go on other than a feeling, it is hard to prove. Wheeler thought that the A’s were getting too good of swings in the inning of doom.
It is extremely difficult to top or equal a career outing, but everyone including Wheeler was left scratching their collective heads after this one.
“I did so well last time. I know I have it. Just a bad outing” Wheeler told reporters after the game on Wednesday.
Wheeler’s first bad outing of the season came in Colorado in May. He lasted just four innings giving up four runs to the Rockies. He followed that up with a six-inning start where he allowed no runs against the Marlins. His history proves that he can bounce back to an extent after a difficult outing. We won’t know how well if at all he will bounce back from this one until his next time out, which won’t be until Monday June 30th in Atlanta.
There is not much we can do, or better yet speculate about Wheeler’s future, other than picking ourselves up and dusting ourselves off in order to get ready for the next game. We are Mets fans. That’s all we can do.