Wheeler bedazzles in debut
By Lisa R. Neilson
Our lives are full of memorable moments worth celebrating. As I sat at my daughter’s high school graduation yesterday, fighting back tears of joy, I reminded myself to take in all that I could of one such moment and bask in the happiness of her accomplishments and her promising future.
Zack Wheeler’s mom must have felt the same way on Tuesday when the 23 year-old pitching prospect made his Major League debut for the New York Mets. While some called his first start in the biggies a little shaky, struggling somewhat with his control and walking five batters, Wheeler has already earned the reputation of must-see hurler. Here’s why Mets fans are excited about the future of Zack Wheeler and his home debut at Citi Field on June 30th against the Nationals:
Wheeler had a tough act to follow Tuesday night. The newbie took the mound in the second game of a doubleheader at Turner Field in Atlanta after ace Matt Harvey threw a no-hitter into the seventh, striking out 13, and notching a 4-3 win over the first place Braves.
Then came Wheeler. I’m sure the guy was a little nervous. The hype around him has gotten as incessant as the cicadas’ song heard in Dutchess County lately. He has inappropriately been dubbed ‘the savior’ by some and continues to be compared to Harvey who is already enjoying wild success in the Majors.
But with family and friends watching and an explosive Braves’ lineup to face, Wheeler certainly did not disappoint. Pitching six scoreless innings, he maneuvered his way out of jams, struck out seven and was a 97 on the radar gun. He blew away Braves superstars Justin Upton and Jason Heyward. The new phenom’s fastball undoubtedly played a part in his first Major League win.
Wheeler—and his mom—can tuck this moment into their memory and relish the success this night brought. I know Mets fans will. One guy—or even two—cannot carry a team or change its record all by themselves; but the presence of a pitching dynamic-duo may force Sandy Alderson and the Wilpons into to making some legitimate moves to improve this lineup.
It’s a hope we Mets fans need!