Zack Wheeler can feel the burn of a long season but insists that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

“I’m a little tired” the Mets rookie said before his team beat the Nationals 3-2 last night. “My velocity has dropped a little obviously [but] I’m learning to pitch at that level so next year when I come back and my velocity is good to go back up I’m hoping I pick up where I am right now command-wise.”

Wheeler may pass a milestone of sorts tonight when he faces the Nationals: The right-hander has pitched 145 innings combined between Triple-A Las Vegas and the Mets this season four short of his career high established last year.

The Mets expect Wheeler to approach 180 innings overall before receiving a late-September shutdown. Along the way there is the expectation he will continue to pitch at a high level.

“I think he’s found the strike zone” pitching coach Dan Warthen said assessing Wheeler’s growth since his June 18 arrival. “He’s reasonably tired so we’re not seeing his high-end velocity but we’re seeing consistent velocity from him.”

That consistent velocity has fallen in the 93-96 mph range — still good enough to overpower major league hitters.