Zack Wheeler is legit and other lessons from Monday’s game

The Mets defeated the Marlins 4-2 on Tuesday at Marlins Park. It took 10 innings, but the Amazins’ pulled it off. Here are four things we can take away from this win.

1. Zack Wheeler is legit. Wheeler took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and lost the bid to 31-year-old rookie, Ed Lucas. He looked sharp, plain and simple. He showed unbelievable control and acted like a Major league veteran on the mound. Take away half of the seventh and I see no reason to believe that Wheeler can’t be a big league ace.

2. John Buck is a veteran. Buck showed great veteran presence Tuesday. He came up with the big hit to score two and give the Mets the victory in the 10th inning. Buck has seemingly turned it around after an outstanding April, and a disappointing May and June. He showed aggressiveness swinging at the first pitch from one of the top closers in Baseball at the moment in Steve Cishek. Things like that are great confidence boosters during an exciting time like the present.

3. The bullpen needs to stay intact. This is more assured now that former Astros closer Jose Veras has been dealt to the Tigers which means Bobby Parnell is likely here for the rest of the season. It took Mets relievers 42 pitches to get through three innings of work Tuesday. Not bad. The only base hit was given up by LaTroy Hawkins but other than that, Scott Atchison pitched a scoreless inning and so did Parnell, earning the win and save respectively. The pitchers out of the pen embodied the old baseball coaching tip, “Just let ’em hit it.” They weren’t afraid to go after Marlins hitters and let them hit the ball in play, trusting their fielders.

4. The Mets are still in this thing. With the win the Mets moved up one game in the NL East standings but were immediately sent back to where they came from by the Phillies who defeated the Giants 7-2. The Mets now find themselves one game out of third place, which is a game and a half out of second place. With the way this series has gone so far, anything is possible. But let’s say the Mets sweep the series. All things then point to them being this close to second place. Yeah, they can’t catch the Braves, but the Nationals are only two games away.

11 comments for “Zack Wheeler is legit and other lessons from Monday’s game

  1. Eraff
    July 31, 2013 at 8:08 am

    Hopefully, the FO doesn’t buy the “We’re still in it” idea— it’s unproductive, and dangerous.

    One thing to decide to compete to win and hold the value of such—another to make/not make moves based on the premise “We’re still in it!”…. management is NOT cheerleading, but rather appropriate decision making.

  2. NormE
    July 31, 2013 at 8:33 am

    Jacob, remember that this was the Marlins and not a major league opponent.

  3. Marcus
    July 31, 2013 at 8:40 am

    Lots to hope for. One negative note … Sorry I’m a Mets fan … Ike looks really bad; like he’s swinging with a fly swatter. It’s time to cut ties.

  4. July 31, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Wait until they have to face the central division again. Let’s not forget between Gee and Hefner the only thing we know is that they are consistently inconsistent. So we’re basically relying on 2 starters because you can’t consider Torres a starter. There’s always reason for hope. I’m an optimist. but you have to be realistic when your team is playing 10 games below .500 at home.

    • Johnny Thunder
      July 31, 2013 at 9:44 am

      But Darling and Cohen are raving about Ike. Is that what they think or are the Wilponzis telling them to praise him

  5. Chris F
    July 31, 2013 at 10:18 am

    One game does not teach us seasonal lessons. Wheeler had a fine start, but this is really his first such. I’m hopeful once the body of work grows we will have a front end starter, but ace? I’m not seeing that at present. As was mentioned, this came against the Marlins (who admittedly enjoy the flavor of Mets pitchers). Bullpens are finicky things. This incarnation may stay in tact this year, but any notion that this represents a full answer to the future is something that leaves me a bit underwhelmed. Rice and Hawk won’t be the future, and much as we all would hope, neither will Parnell. He’s simply not elite enough to imagine that in ’15 he will be “the guy” based on the track record of MLB closers.

    We are in it? In what? The only playoff team coming from the NL East, the least competitive division in the MLB, will be the winner of the division. We won’t be catching the Braves, nor does it seem like anyone else will either. Being is a slugfest with sub .500 teams for second place will not put us into any picture where this season results in October play.

    • Jerry Grote
      July 31, 2013 at 11:04 am

      A six game winning streak and this team is within a game of the WC, and we have the pitching that has the upside to deliver that.

      That said, I’m not sold on Wheeler as an ace. He still doesn’t have the mettle to me … his body language, the propensity to throw the ball to the backstop. Let’s remember he has always shown a difficulty with control and that hardly has gone away. On an outstanding pitching staff, he’d be a fine #3. For the rest of the better teams, he’s a pretty good #2. He’s an ace for teams like the Astros.

      Oh. And as of yesterday, Ike Davis and Lucas Duda have a combined 5 XBH in 71 ABs. Sandy, go get us a 1B. Trumbo would be nice. Or at least, make the damned commitment to Satin while there’s still some time to know for sure.

      • Jerry Grote
        July 31, 2013 at 11:05 am

        … I meant to say, 5XBH in 71 JULY ABs.

  6. July 31, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    To Jerry Grote. You say we have the pitching? This is the same pitching staff the Nationals creamed last week. Yes the team has the potential to win 6 games in a row but they also have the potential to lose 6 in a row. You have faith in Gee or Hefner? Problem is when they’re not in control of their location the balls ends up in the bleachers by the buckets.

  7. Metsense
    August 1, 2013 at 8:24 am

    An Ace, besides having the appropriate stats, must also be able to keep his team in the game when he doesn’t have no hit stuff. Wheeler is a rookie and learning and I’m pleased with his development. There isn’t a big enough sample size yet.
    Buck has surprisingly paid 2013 dividends on the Dickey trade. With proper rest he is a productive catcher. His stock as a FA in 2014 should unfortunately overprice him as the 2014 backup catcher.
    Obviously Sandy could not get enough for Parnell at the trade deadline but I also think he didn’t want to. A lost opportunity IMO.
    The Mets are not in this thing, and Sandy once again sat tight. I admire his patience but question the lack of agressive discussion in initiating trade discussion. They are a sub .500 team in 4th place that needs improvements. It is gret they are playing better but this is not an “exciting time”.

  8. August 1, 2013 at 9:05 am

    What we don’t know is what is happening when other GM’s call upon on SA. Maybe he came close to a deal? Trades get done behind the scenes and once the deal is consummated then make the announcement rather than have someone’s name thrown out there. In that sense I like SA. No rumors, no gossip. Players know where they stand and besides they already know who’s name was likely mentioned in any trade talks.

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