The Wheels Come Off For Zach And The Mets
There are many ways to look at the Mets getting hammered by the Washington Nationals Sunday at Citifield. None of the looks will make Met fans feel better.
Zach Wheeler made his home debut. It was forgettable. Wheeler better learn quickly that major league hitters don't need the thin air of Pacific Coast League games to jack homeruns. Fastballs down the middle, curves that are so mediocre the big boys can read spank me as they spin toward the plate and no plan to get big leaguers out. That summed up a poor and short day on the mound for Wheeler Sunday.
The Mets drew their biggest crowd at Citi since opening day. They actually saw a backup catcher have better results pitching then did wonder boy Wheeler.
Wheeler was pulled after the Nationals used and abused him, to the tune of 5 runs in less than 5 innings. Backup catcher Anthony Recker pitched an inning at the end of the ballgame it got so ugly. Washington pounded the Mets 13-2. No reason for manager Terry Collins to use up his pen.Only Brandon Lyon pitched worse then Wheeler, getting smoked for 5 runs in 2/3rds of an inning. It was the 2nd straight horrendous outing for Lyon, whose ERA is 5.06, exactly that of Wheelers.
After a stellar 1st inning in which he fanned 2 of 3 Nats, Washington came out blasting in the 2nd.
Adam Larouche showed the young pitcher that a crackling fastball, even at 98 MPH is not difficult for a big leaguer to ambush if it is dead straight down the middle.
Jayson Werth, a big disappointment with only 7 long fly's this year, crushed a dead meat fastball to Astoria later off Wheeler. The 33,000 plus paying customers watched in silence as the Nats cracked gappers and hard outs, and homeruns off Wheeler.
Also of note is this ominous stat. You have to go back all the way to April 27th to find the last time the Mets scored more then 5 runs at home. Bad pitching and weak hitting won't lead to big crowds over the final 3 months.