Zack Wheeler would like to move on from Sunday's start as soon as possible.
But first, the righty assessed his performance during the Mets' 12-9 loss to the Nationals in rather harsh terms.
"I was just off a little, mechanically," he said after the game. "But that doesn't mean I got to go out there and do what I did. It was just an embarrassing day for me and one of those that you just want to forget and look forward to the next start."
The Nationals tagged Wheeler for seven earned runs on four hits and seven walks over 4 2/3 innings. Perhaps the writing was on the wall for him from the first batter of the game, when he walked Adam Eaton on four pitches. Wheeler came out of the first inning unscathed, but wasn't so lucky in the second.
Washington put up a five-spot to establish a sizable lead they didn't relinquish for the remainder of the game, in Wheeler and reliever Tim Peterson issued 12 free passes. (Luis Avilan, Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo did not walk anyone.)
"Other than the second inning and kind of the fifth, it was good," Wheeler said. "I felt really good coming into the game, felt good in the bullpen. I've felt good so far this year. It's just been one innings so far and it hurt me in this game. Kind of like years past, it's been that one inning. So gotta figure it out and eliminate that."
A strong second half of last season, when the 28-year-old posted a 1.68 ERA over his final 11 starts, raised expectations for Wheeler entering 2019. But his first two outings -- he gave up four earned runs on six hits over five innings against the Nats last Saturday -- of the season have left plenty to be desired.
"I know what I can do out there," the former first-round pick said. "It's still early."
And Wheeler is also aware that for the Mets to reach their ceiling, he must be close to his best every time he takes the ball.
"I can't say enough about this team," he said. "Keep the runs down, we're going to win ballgames, because these guys will score."