New York Mets righty Zack Wheeler put together another forgettable performance Monday night in Los Angeles, with his struggles escalating to the next level. After being pulled before the third inning in his second straight start, something is clearly up with the former sixth overall pick.
After finishing the month of May with a promising 2-0 record, Wheeler has lost his last three decisions. In that span, he’s given up 17 earned runs, totaling a 9.53 ERA in June.
In addition, Wheeler dropped to a 3-5 record on the year and has an abysmal 36.82 ERA in his last two starts.
His struggles began in that previous start against the Chicago Cubs, being completely exposed by the big bats of the defending champions. A leadoff homer by Anthony Rizzo and a grand slam by rookie Ian Happ were the catalyst of the Wheeler being pulled in the second inning.
Entering the series opener against LA, Wheeler had to be on his A-game, as he was facing off against three-time Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw.
The Dodgers exploded early on the Georgia native, going up 7-0 and striking a blow to all team confidence before the second inning even ended.
Despite the lackluster start, the Mets challenged the Dodgers ace, as Kershaw gave up four home runs for the first time in his career. If it weren’t for Wheeler’s woeful outing, the Mets most likely would have stolen the game.
Wheeler’s command just hasn’t been what it was earlier in the year. His pitches have not been as sharp, and as a result we have seen him not hitting his spots, thus giving up more home runs.
Fans can only speculate what the problem might be with the 27-year-old. As Anthony DiComo from MLB.com reports, when asked about any possible injury, the pitcher says he feels fine.
As the RHP rules out any sign of a possible injury, it is safe to assume that he is just in a really bad slump.
Wheeler continues to leave the baseball world questioning what wrong with his game. With the once coveted prospect set to become a free agent at the end of this season, if he doesn’t sharpen up his play, would it be such a crazy move to let him walk?