Zack Wheeler Returns From Sore Shoulder To Gain Third Victory Of Season – Las Vegas Thumps Iowa Cubs, 9-4

By Michael Lecolant

The Las Vegas 51’s were in Iowa today where Zack Wheeler made his return to the mound after being idled for the past eleven days.  Wheeler had not pitched since May 11th, after feeling soreness in his right clavicle.  After being examined, doctors in New York determined Wheeler was indeed experiencing inflammation.  He was then administered a cortisone shot, and ordered to sit out a start.

Feb 21, 2013; Port St Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (65) poses for a picture during photo day at Tradition Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

This afternoon against the Cubs, Zack tossed a conservative sixty-seven pitches, forty-three for strikes, in completing five full innings pitched.  He allowed three earned runs, two of which were solo home runs, and five total hits.  He walked two and struck out two before departing on the winning side of an 8-3 game.  Four members of the 51’s bullpen chipped in with an inning each, preserving Zack Wheeler’s victory.  He improved his season record to 3-1, but his earned run average rose slightly from 3.71 to a 3.91 mark.

After struggling earlier this season, Zack Wheeler reeled off three consecutive stellar starts before hitting this recent bump on his road to Flushing.  In twenty innings pitched, he limited opponents to three runs on just fourteen hits.  He only issued three bases on balls and struck out twenty.

June is only nine days away.  The tentative cut-off date regarding Zack Wheeler’s Super Two status is June 4th.  While many felt certain Sandy Alderson would not call-up Wheeler prior to the cut-off, a sore pitching shoulder provided the Mets with a timely and convenient delay, which also incidentally muted cries out of Flushing clamouring for a hasty promotion.  At a minimum, his arrival is still two weeks away.  However, Adam Rubin wrote of a scenario where Zack  Wheeler could finally don a Mets jersey in Atlanta, as the Mets will play five games in four days beginning on June 17th.  That puts his arrival twenty-six or so days away, or in Las Vegas time, four more starts from now.

5/22 GAME RECAP – Las Vegas 9; Iowa 4

Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Collin Cowgill and catcher Francisco Pena all homered for Las Vegas, as the 51’s cranked out eleven hits to defeat the Iowa Cubs 9-4 Wednesday afternoon.  Nieuwenhuis crossed the plate three times as did Omar Quintanilla, who was 2 for 2 in the game, with two walks and a triple.  Collin  Cowgill led the 51’s with four runs batted in coming on a two out grand slam in the fourth inning, while Francisco Pena had three runs batted in.

Iowa leads the series 2-1 with game four scheduled for Thursday morning.  The 51’s will then travel back home to close out May with an eight game home stand.

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