Despite allowing a solo homer to Justin Smoak in the first inning, Zack Wheeler largely dominated the Blue Jays during the first three innings of his start on Wednesday afternoon.
With his fastball sitting between 95 and 96 MPH, Wheeler struck out six of the first 10 batters he faced, allowing just one man to reach base.
That was followed by an on-field delay due to rain and field maintenance -- resulting in Wheeler going 27 minutes between pitches.
And when Wheeler took the mound for the top of the fourth inning, he looked out of sorts. He was given all the time he needed to warm up, but didn't throw many more warm up pitches than he usually does.
"To me it seemed like the rain, trying to fix the field kinda affected our guy and it didn't their's," Mickey Callaway said in his postgame presser. "He looked like he had found his rhythm and started cruisin' and then a little bit of a delay there and he wasn't the same guy."
Wheeler started the fourth inning by missing his location badly multiple times while walking Josh Donaldson. With one out in the inning, he allowed a two-run homer to Teoscar Hernandez as the Blue Jays took a 3-0 lead
In the fifth, Wheeler melted down completely, walking opposing pitcher J.A. Happ to lead off the frame, before allowing a double to Curtis Granderson. He then gave up a single to Donaldson, which was followed by a double to Smoak and a walk to Hernandez -- ending his day.
During the broadcast on SNY, Ron Darling noted the stark difference between how Wheeler looked before and after the 27-minute break between pitches. Of course, Happ dealt with a long delay as well, and was no worse for wear.
That is why Wheeler isn't making any excuses.
"I mean, that was a long time sitting down," he said. "I tried to stay loose. I ran a little bit and threw in the cage and everything. But I don't want to make excuses. My ball was just running a lot today and coming back over the middle. I was good early on, like I said, but just sorta fell apart there. I need to do a better job of shutting that down once a couple hits happen."
Overall, Wheeler had another rough go at Citi Field as he allowed six runs on seven hits (two homers), while striking out seven and walking three over four innings.