Wheeler Leaves Mound A Winner

After coming here in the Carlos Beltran trade, which was arguably the first significant move in a rebuild which culminated in the 2015 pennant, after the Tommy John surgery and set back, after Carlos Gomez‘s hips negated a trade, and after all the drama with necessarily comes with being a member of the New York Mets, Zack Wheeler took the mound for what could be the last time as a member of the team.

With his free agency looming and the Mets being sellers, Wheeler may soon be gone. If he does go, he’s going out a winner.

Coming off the IL, Wheeler had a pitch count. Through the first five, he was terrific. That’s been par for the course for Wheeler during the second half of the season. Up until that fifth, he allowed just one earned off three consecutive second inning singles.

In the fifth, Wheeler tired. After he allowed a two run homer to Adam Frazier, the Mets lead narrowed to 4-3. Mickey Callaway gave him a little rope, but he eventually had to get Wheeler. He would depart the mound to a well deserved standing ovation:

He’d also depart a winner because the Mets offense hit the long ball, and the bullpen continued their best stretch of the season.

Jeff McNeil gave the Mets the lead with a three run homer in the third which just cleared the right field wall. Todd Frazier hit a solo shit in the fifth, and Wilson Ramos and Pete Alonso hit solo shots in the sixth. That accounted for the Mets six runs.

From the bullpen front, Luis Avilan continued his strong stretch getting Wheeler out of his sixth inning jam. With Edwin Diaz getting hit on the foot yesterday, it was Robert Gsellman and Justin Wilson setting up for Seth Lugo who recorded his first save of the year and fourth of his career.

Overall, however, tonight was about Wheeler. He earned his 40th win as a Met. Who knows which uniform he’ll be wearing for his 41st win.

Game Notes: Amed Rosario made his first error since June 28. Alonso misplayed his throw going into foul territory and losing his glove trying to get the ball. Later in the game, Alonso dropped a foul pop up.

0 Replies to “Wheeler Leaves Mound A Winner”

  1. Blair M. Schirmer says:

    Imagine next year (or this) the Mets rotation with Wheeler gone, and Syndergaard needing his usual 10 day trip to the IL. That’s a stretch of 2-3 starts where it’ll be deGrom, Vargas, Matz (who should be in the bullpen), Corey Oswalt, and Chris Flexen.

    Among the many reasons the Mets won’t contend in 2020 without a 50m AAV infusion of offseason talent, that kind of stretch is one. It’s also painful to realize Matz has actually been worse than Vargas since Vargas returned to the rotation in late July of 2018.

    Since then Vargas has had 28 starts totaling around 140 IP, and an ERA around 3.90. Matz has had 28 starts, 137 IP, and an ERA around 4.60. As bad as Vargas’ 2019 FIP has been, at 4.67, Matz’s at 5.20 has been catastrophic. That’s how bad the Mets rotation is, going into 2020–and without Wheeler those are their 3 and 4 starters. Are they going to keep Syndergaard, reup Vargas, keep inexplicably throwing Vargas out there because four years ago he was good, bring up Kay, and pretend they have a full rotation again? Probably.

    Given Gsellman has been a flop as a reliever, the Mets might as well put him back in a starting role next year. Better a replacement level 150 innings from Robert than a replacement level 60 innings out of the pen, given who the team will otherwise have at the back end of the rotation. If they start him next year I’d wager Gsellman will outpitch Matz over the first half of the season.

    Speaking of which, it’s time to end the Steven Matz experiment. He has been among the worst starters in the majors with a regular gig since the end of 2016. From then until now, that’s 3 seasons where his FIP in his *lucky* year, 2017, was a well below league average 4.62. Matz has had more than twice as many starts as a terrible pitcher than he had in his all too brief good stretch from 2015 to 2016. In short, it’s over. Matz is not even a #6 option for the rotation at this point. The Mets have three choices. Trade him, non-tender him this offseason, or move him permanently to the pen, now, and see if it’s something he can do before cutting him if he can’t.

    ==Even before tonight’s HR it wasn’t being pointed out by the NY beats that Alonso’s problems really only resulted from 4 bad games right after returning from the ASB, the first 4 games back, in Miami, where he went 1-13 with 8 K, 3 BB, 1 HBP, and 1 SH. After that Fiasco in Florida he’s been fine. From July 17th through July 25th he’s gone 4-27, with 3 HR, 6 RBI, 8 K, 8 BB, 1 HBP, 1 ROE, 1 SH with a line of .148/.361/.481/.843. That’s an OBP, SLG, and OPS better than Conforto’s for the year, and a pace of at least 60 HR, 120 RBI, 160 BB. That would be worth some MVP votes even with the .148 batting average.

    Alonso wasn’t getting pitched to, in short, and it took him all of 4 games to adjust. That’s a great hitter. Now if he could just play CF…

    1. Blair M. Schirmer says:


      “Are they going to keep Syndergaard, reup Vargas, keep inexplicably throwing ++Matz++ out there because four years ago he was good,…”

      I really hope they don’t. Somehow Matz has largely escaped criticism, but he’s an awful pitcher and has been since he returned in 2017. He needed to get extremely lucky in 2018 just to have a below league average ERA of 3.95 and even then he couldn’t stay in games for more than 5 innings. If the Mets FO had the guts to play this right, they’d see if over the rest of the 2019 season Matz has what it takes to be a 3m-4m bullpen arm (his likely arb price). Maybe he does, but continuing to pretend this season that he’s a starter then going into 2020 having no idea if he can even handle a relief role would be both absurd, and an oh-so-very Mets thing to do.

      1. metsdaddy says:

        Matz has escaped criticism, and I’m not sure why. If we’re being honest he’s a borderline non-tender candidate this offseason.

    2. metsdaddy says:

      I completely agree with you on Gsellman. He’s probably better suited to the rotation, and it’s not like there is a better internal option should Wheeler depart via trade or free agency.

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