Mets Game 67: Win Over Braves

Mets 6 Braves 1

Zack Wheeler‘s much-anticipated MLB debut turned out to be a grave disappointment.

Mets Game Notes

Wheeler the uber-prospect struck out all three times he came to bat — he couldn’t even lay down a bunt!

But, he did pitch pretty well, so maybe there’s still hope. As much as the Mets need a bat, you can never have enough pitching, right? Wheeler lived in the 95-98 range and showed a slider that had plus potential. He was a little wild at first, but eventually settled down and shut out Atlanta through six innings. Both Ron Darling and Gary Cohen commented that they were impressed that Wheeler did as well as he did despite not pitching as well as he’s capable. I’m not sure I can agree with such a suggestion, since this is the first time anyone has seen him pitch at the Major League level. For all we know, this could be the best he can do at this point in his pro career. That’s not to say he won’t improve and be an ace at some point in the future. Rather, I don’t think it’s fair to expect a 23-year-old rookie to pitch much better than he did in his MLB debut. He’s going to have some rough patches, mixed in with stellar ones. It looks to me like he’ll have bouts of wildness, and he may struggle as he develops an offspeed pitch. So to me, what he did in this game is his ceiling for 2013.

Though the Braves are a dozen games over .500 and sitting pretty atop the NL East, they definitely are NOT Bobby Cox‘s Braves, and have evolved into Fredi Gonzalez‘s Braves. What I mean by that is the present-day Braves are sloppy, and prone to beating themselves via poor fundamentals. However, they have so much talent — both on the mound and in the batter’s box — that they can overcome those mistakes most of the time wit sheer talent. That’s a far cry from the old days, when the Braves would “win boring” by simply executing and forcing the other team to beat itself.

I don’t understand how Staten Island native and St. John’s grad Anthony Varvaro has such good stats. It seems like every time we see him pitch against the Mets, he can’t throw strikes and/or gets crushed. I wonder if it has something to do with being a New York kid pitching against a team he may have followed in his childhood? Or maybe it’s just my inaccurate, selective memory.

The Mets beat the first-place Braves with, essentially, a minor-league team. How about that?

Next Mets Game

The Mets and Braves hook up again on Wednesday night at 7:10 p.m. The scheduled pitching matchup is Shaun Marcum vs. Kris Medlen. It’s unlikely I will write a post-game recap as I have a 8 p.m. game myself. Hopefully I won’t break my back, blow out my arm, or bust a leg in my first appearance behind the dish in three years.

Mets 2013 Games

About the Author

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.

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