The New York Mets won the games pitched by Zack Wheeler and Matt Harvey over the weekend, but their performances illustrated the gap between the two, and still the need for improvement of each.
Let’s look first at Wheeler, who is here to stay. He’s taken his lumps and will take some more. Wheeler’s problem remains command of all his pitches, beginning with the fastball that is the lead domino. Again, Wheeler had a high pitch count that didn’t translate getting deep into the game. He didn’t get out of the fifth Saturday.
When that happens, coupled with Jeremy Hefner’s mugging the previous night, it means a strain on the bullpen and the need for Harvey to work deep into his game Sunday.
Harvey is head-and-shoulders above Wheeler now, and the Mets did it right with Harvey in that they stopped him at seven innings. If they went six that leaves the bullpen working three, which will accomplish what the Mets want on cutting Harvey’s innings, but it increases that of the bullpen.