The one thing that Zack Wheeler has struggled with in his brief career has been lack of command driving up his pitch count. It's not an uncommon occurrence for young pitchers. When Wheeler puts it together like he did against San Francisco, he is an absolute treat to watch.
He put it together and more against Miami, no-hitting them for six and a third innings before the Marlins caught up to him for a couple of runs to tie the game with a few hits in a row. Zack pitched well enough to win, and really should have won, because after he untangled his string with a double play to end the seventh inning, the Mets faced who I consider to be the worst pitcher in baseball ... Chad Qualls. And when Marlon Byrd led off the eighth with a booming triple, the Mets should have put Wheeler's win in the bag. But Ike Davis struck out after a long at-bat swinging at slop, John Buck grounded out to third, and after walking Juan Lagares, Omar Quintanilla struck out and then Qualls did this:
Watching this over and over again during the next few days, weeks, and years on your garden variety highlight shows will only serve to remind me that this was the game we couldn't score a run off Chad Qualls, and that will depress me. Had the Mets actually lost this game, it would have been one of those Niagara Falls moments that would have been on the level of Donne Wall.
But the Mets got this to the tenth (because what would a game between the two teams at the bottom of the division without more of it?) where they had bases loaded and nobody out with John Buck at the plate, and actually scored runs! I know, right? Buck's two run single saved the Mets the embarrassment of losing a game where their pitcher had a no-hitter for six and 2/3's as the Mets won their second straight against the Marlins 4-2, putting the world on some sort of axis that I'm sure doesn't really exist.
Don't worry, we'll be back to normal when the trading deadline comes and goes and Marlon Byrd, Bobby Parnell, and Daniel Murphy are still Mets because nobody wants to give up their best prospects for these guys. But that hasn't stopped some from trying to drum up interest in this mythical trade deadline:
How much has Zack Wheeler impressed you tonight? Would you consider trading him? Answer with #SNYSPORTSNITE and tune in at 10:30PM
— SportsNet New York (@SNYtv) July 31, 2013
Here's the secret: if you answer "Yes" (with #SNYSPORTSNITE, of course), Paul DePodesta comes to your house, hits you with a rolled up newspaper and says "NO! BAD FAN! NO!!!" It's a trick.