ATLANTA: Zack Wheeler arrived just in time Friday night, here at his local baseball stadium.
Just in time with your delivery. Just in time with a performance to give a little blow to his bullpen mates and lower his eyebrows on his 2019.
And this young season of the Mets will advance, without crisis.
With a fastball that reached all three digits, the Georgia native defeated the Braves, 6-2 at SunTrust Park, for his first victory of the year and the Mets' third straight. The first two starts of the Wheeler campaign, both against the Nationals, were bad enough, mediocre on March 31 in Washington, and then on April 7 at Citi Field, that the fact that a disappointing third had had doubts about his career during his year of walking.
Instead, thanks to the work of starters with Mets pitching coach Dave Eiland, Wheeler looked more closely, if not so good, at the resurgent who had a 2.06 ERA in his last 15 starts last season. , striking at 100 and walking 24 at 100. ⅔ tickets.
"He has to feel good about that exit," said Mickey Callaway. "It was a great start, and we needed it."
Callaway called the game "the most stress-free victory we had all year," since his last decisions about the game were: rookie Pete Alonso and the downing of Brandon Nimmo from first place to eighth place, both were rewarded Alonso's understudy, Dom Smith, contributed a single, double and walk, while Nimmo hit the two-run home run in the second inning and added a single and a double.
The Mets tied their franchise record by scoring six times in a sixth straight game. Ironically, they left that mark in September 2007, which is best remembered for a certain collapse. And, as Wheeler said, "all you have to do is keep these guys off the board and we're going to score runs every night."
In particular, he failed to keep the Nats off the board last week, walked seven times and allowed seven runs and four hits in 4 innings when his ERA soared to 10.24. With Eiland urging him to work slower after the conclusion, Wheeler did his video work on Friday, comparing his delivery this year with the stopwatch.
"Much faster" this year, Wheeler noted. "I will slow down, and today I was more consistent."
He threw a 101-mph fastball to Josh Donaldson in the first inning, and Donaldson tore it into right field for a single. The opening frame proved to be Wheeler's toughest challenge, as the Braves loaded the bases with one out thanks to one and two walks. When Wheeler escaped the jam allowing only one race,
"I was good to go after that," he said.
If he did not dominate, with the second his only 1-2-3 inning, the second, deftly dodged in and out of trouble, keeping the Braves without hits in four at-bats (plus a walk and sacrifice) with runners in position annotation.
"You know what, great job of him and Dave to diagnose what went wrong? [in the prior starts]"Callaway said.
His final pitch of the night, a 97 mph fastball, eluded Braves veteran Charlie Culberson for another K, and Callaway received him in the visitors dugout with a handshake. If the moment could not match the fireworks of the offensive beating shown by Wheeler's partners with the bats, it still had a greater meaning. More relief
Now with 2-0 in this critical turnaround of 10 road games, the Mets (9-4) remained at the top of the Eastern National League, half a game ahead of the Phillies, still in time in this campaign. win now, another hurdle He jumped with the Wheeler correction. After what they have experienced the two previous years, they have earned the right to celebrate each of them.