Almost two years ago to the day, the New York Mets pulled off one of their more intelligent transactions when they acquired San Francisco Giants top pitching Zack Wheeler in a deal that sent Carlos Beltran over to the Bay Area. In the 44 games Beltran played with the Giants, he hit .323 but the Giants failed to make the playoffs and that was the end of Beltran’s career in San Fransisco. Beltran bolted for St. Louis the next season and before Zack Wheeler had even pitched an MLB game for the Mets the Giants had already gotten the short end of the stick.
Zack Wheeler was a young kid with a lot of potential. He had a fantastic MLB debut last June but didn’t finish the year strong. He went 7-5 with a 3.42 ERA. Wheeler showed glimpses of success but for the most part struggled with command and lacked the ability to have a strong transition from the Triple A level.
Going into the 2014 season, the Mets were not sure what to expect from Wheeler and for the first 2 months of the season it looked as if not much had changed from last season. He was showing the same issues as he did in 2013 and at a point the Mets even considered sending him back to Triple A. He had started his season 1-4 with a 4.89 ERA. Wheeler was part of the promising group along with Matt Harvey and Noah Syndergaard but thoughts now arose if Wheeler was going to be a bust.
It was a Thursday night in Miami and when Zack Wheeler woke up that morning I wonder if he knew that starting that night his season would take a turn for the best. That night against the Marlins, Wheeler had the best start of his young career. I can’t explain what happened but something just clicked. He went the distance and kept the Fish off the scoreboard only allowing 3 hits. It was pure dominance and was something the Mets organization had been waiting for. Since that night, Zack Wheeler has looked like the pitcher that got all the hype coming up to the big leagues. Going into Tuesday nights series opener in Washington, Wheeler had been 3-0 with a 1.63 ERA. Him and deGrom have been a huge reason the Mets playoffs hopes remain alive.
The Mets won last night 6-1 and if I say so myself It had been the most impressive start I have seen from Zack. It wasn’t the fact that he was great or blowing hitters away, because he wasn’t. It was the fact that Wheeler clearly did not have his A game. He admitted to knowing that after his bullpen session. He was walking hitters all over the place, his command was off, his prime pitches wern’t there and it just seemed like this was not going to be his night. Wheeler worked out of numerous jams and was able to hold the Nats to 1 run in 6 and 2/3. That is something that the Wheeler of old would not have allowed to happen, a huge step forward in his young career. Wheeler is clearly starting to figure it out in this league. He is going to be a huge asset for the Mets in the future, someone they are really going to rely on. He is turning into something special.