Just what the doctor ordered, a complete game gem by Zack Wheeler, when he and the Mets needed it the most.
On Thursday night against the Marlins in Miami, Wheeler threw a dazzling, 111 pitch three hit shutout, which was the best game of his brief major league career.
“I still had plenty,” Wheeler told Adam Rubin of ESPN NY after the game.
“He showed you tonight exactly what we’ve been talking about all along. … It was his night. That’s why I just said, ‘I’m going to run him back out there. I don’t care what his pitch count is. He deserves it. He’s earned it,’” says Terry Collins.
Rubin adds that no Met had thrown a nine-inning, 1-0 road shutout since Al Leiter did it against Philadelphia in 2002.
“I know I can do it every time out. I know I have the stuff,” Wheeler said. “It finally feels good to go out and do it and be efficient with my pitches and get ahead of guys.”
David Wright chimed in on Wheeler’s great performance, “He’s got the stuff. With him, it’s just a matter of pounding the strike zone, throwing all of his pitches for strikes, not falling behind and just having to throw fastballs. Because I don’t care how hard you throw in this league, it’s going to get hit if they know it’s coming, if they know you can’t throw other pitches for strikes.”
Wheeler’s final line, 9 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 K’s, and improved his record to 3-7 and lowered his ERA to 3.93.
What a game to now build on for Wheeler.