Mets RHP Zack Wheeler won't be in the running for the Cy Young like Jacob deGrom, but he has certainly looked like an ace since the All-Star break.
Wheeler had a 1.50 ERA since the All-Star break entering tonight's start, and it fell even lower after eight shutout innings from him against the Marlins.
The night didn't start as planned with an over five-hour rain delay that saw a 9:45 p.m. first pitch from Wheeler instead of an afternoon start. But the delay didn't hinder Wheeler's dominance, but rather, that time in the clubhouse enhanced his aggressiveness.
"Yeah, man. I was at the park for 12 hours tonight," Wheeler told reporters when asked if the rain delay affected him at all. "I really would have liked to finish it, but I was tired. After throwing only 88 innings, or whatever it was last year, it would be kinda smart just to let somebody else get the ninth. Like I said, I really wanted to go back out there but I didn't want to push it too much."
Paul Sewald would come in to close that ninth inning and keep the shutout alive.
Wheeler allowed just four hits, while striking out seven Marlins on his way to his 11th win of the season. By the end of the night, his ERA fell to 1.34, which is second-lowest in the NL over the second half.
When asked why he was able to freeze the Marlins' bats, Wheeler didn't have a definitive answer. It just seems everything just seems to be working for him right now.
"I don't know," he said. "I felt good going in. The extra rest helped, but I just felt good. I was throwing a lot of pitches for strikes mainly, and the changeup was working really well today, curveball's working well."
This was the fifth straight outing that Wheeler has gone at least seven innings.