Zack Wheeler came into last night’s start looking to redeem himself after a dreadful start against the Toronto Blue Jays last Wednesday, in which he only lasted four innings and allowed six runs which raised his season ERA to 5.92.
However, Wheeler did appear to do enough to put those fears to rest, at least for now. The right-hander went six innings (106 pitches) in which he allowed three runs (one earned), seven hits, and no walks while he struck out nine against the Miami Marlins.
It was one bad inning, in truth, though, that doomed the right-hander. In the second inning, Wheeler allowed a leadoff double to Brian Anderson and then found himself in a jam after a Derek Dietrich single advanced Anderson to third to put runners on the corners with nobody out.
The unearned runs would be the result of the next play in which Jose Reyes made a throwing error on a Caleb Smith sacrifice bunt that allowed him to reach base safely to load the bases. Wheeler managed to get Martin Prado to pop out next, but the Marlins took advantage of their extra out as J.T. Realmuto hit a two-run single to put the Marlins up 3-0.
Outside of that inning, though, the Marlins only managed to get three hits and Wheeler thinks that his slider was crucial to his success last night.
“It sort of just clicked for me. I’ve been looking for it all season.”
Wheeler admitted that the Jose Reyes error put him in a rough spot, but also admitted that it was a very strange play and wasn’t exactly easy.
“That was a tough play on the bunt popup. I think I could have got it, but just let Jose take it. There’s a lot of talking going on right there, so he had a little indecision where to go.”
“It’s a tough play, especially when people are telling you to throw it to every different base. I think that’s why he made that bad throw to first. I tried to get him out of it and pick him up, but it was a tough play.”
Wheeler now has a 2-4 record on the season to go along with a 5.32 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, and 47 strikeouts in 44 innings (eight starts). He will make his next start on Sunday against the Milwaukee Brewers.