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Mets starter Zack Wheeler shows both disappointment and potential

Apr 7, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) reacts during game against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 7, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) reacts during game against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports /
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Last night during his first MLB appearance in 925 days, Zack Wheeler gave up five runs over four innings against the Marlins.

While he now owns an 0-1 record and an ERA over 11, it’s a step in the right direction for the pitcher. After being out of action for so long, the Mets are lucky that they were able to get 80 pitches out of him.

Wheeler gave up all five runs over the course of the second and third innings on five hits and a walk. Those hits included a triple to Derek Dietrich and a home run to Christian Yelich. Other than that, Wheeler pitched fairly well, with his best numbers being four strikeouts versus one walk.

Wheeler might have just needed a little more time to get into a groove. That, or maybe it could have just been playing at Citi Field that messed with his game. That’s right, before Wheeler went down just before the 2015 season began, Wheeler had been pitching poorly at home.

During his last home start on September 13th, 2014, he needed 100 pitches to get through four innings. During that span, he gave up up six earned runs. Throughout his 12 home starts in 2014, he averaged less than six innings per outing while posting a 4.30 ERA.

It’s also good to remember that it’s only his first game of the season. When Wheeler started the 2014 season, he gave up 12 earned runs over his first 23 innings. That didn’t stop him from getting better, and a poor start like last night won’t stop him either.

It’s not the end of the world after one bad start, so long after being injured. Sure, the games count now, but it’s still too early to see if this will be consistent for Wheeler.

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One walk and four strikeouts through four innings is a great way to begin after missing 30 months. Once he gets more starts in, and works up his confidence, his 2017 season will be very different.

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