After a 30 pitch first inning by Zack Wheeler you'd be forgiven if you thought the world was going to cave in, especially with a doubleheader tomorrow. But Wheeler got it together and only threw 65 through the next five innings and he received his fourth victory of the year as the Mets beat the Braves 7-4.
It wasn't the best of outings for Wheeler regardless … he coughed up four runs (three earned) while striking out five and walking two. His traditional line of 4-1 and a 3.72 ERA belies the fact that he has plenty to work on, between giving up long balls to Freddie Freeman and Dan Uggla (who has 11 home runs in just over four seasons at Citi Field … glad we moved in the fences for that guy), and especially that WHIP of 1.42 (which actually went down today). However, even with the pitch count issues, it was a quality start.
Take heart in knowing that pitchers like Matt Cain (1.27 WHIP in his first 654 innings), Justin Verlander (1.32 WHIP in his first 600 innings), Greg Maddux (1.35 WHIP in his first 911 innings), and Roy Halladay (1.71 WHIP in his first 231 innings), all started out a little wobbly before finding success. I don't bring those names up to elevate expectations, far from it. Just to note that there's a difference between a guy coming up and being a complete bust and a guy coming up and having things to work on while retaining promise.
That's a long winded way of saying that we should stay calm and relaxed.
But the bats came alive today against Alex Wood, especially and most surprisingly John Buck who went 2-for-5 with three RBI today (the margin of victory … how convenient.) The bullpen was also brilliant as LaTroy Hawkins, David Aardsma, and Robert Allen Parnell each went a scoreless inning. Hawkins only threw 13 pitches but Aardsma and Parnell each went slightly over 20 which might be an issue with the doubleheader tomorrow, and Jenrry Mejia pitching the opener. Mejia became the first Met to announce that he needs offseason surgery before his first major league appearance of the season (which for a Met is a ridiculous accomplishment.) The good part is two-fold: First, Matt Harvey pitches the nightcap. Second, the Washington Nationals are a dumpster fire amidst a gas leak.