Zack Wheeler’s first assignment upon joining the Mets was not on a baseball diamond. It was in the bowels of Turner Field Monday afternoon, one day before his major league debut, with the spotlight on him in a news conference. For the first time this season, the attention was drawn away from Matt Harvey, the other young Mets building block to start in Tuesday’s doubleheader against the Braves. In the twin bill, doubling as a showcase for the bright future the Mets front office has relentlessly promised, the hard-throwing right-handers, born 14 months apart, proved worthy of the spotlight. After watching Harvey flirt with a no-hitter in the Mets’ 4-3 matinee win, Wheeler, 30 miles from his hometown of Dallas, Ga., tossed six scoreless innings to fuel the Mets’ sweep in a 6-1 victory Tuesday night. The two pitchers combined to allow three runs and strike out 20 batters in 13 innings as the Mets swept a doubleheader in Atlanta for the first time since July 7, 1987. With Braves legend Chipper Jones sitting with his parents two rows behind home plate and a contingent of supporters overlooking the Mets’ dugout, the 23-year-old Wheeler yielded four hits and struck out seven in a 102-pitch effort. He exited the mound after the sixth inning in a scoreless tie, but Anthony Recker’s two-run home run in the bottom half put him in position to earn the win. "I went into it knowing that I’m good enough to be here," said Wheeler, whose 71 fastballs averaged 96.15 mph, according to Brooks Baseball. Command, Wheeler’s shortcoming, plagued him early as adrenaline kicked in. In the first inning, he spotted a 2-0 count to each of the five hitters he faced and issued two of his five walks in a 23-pitch inning. Pitching coach Dan Warthen and three players, including captain David Wright, visited the mound to calm his nerves.
Zack Wheeler follows Matt Harvey's dazzling outing with six shutout innings in debut as Mets sweep Braves
Newark Star-Ledger | Jun 19