Wheeler told reporters he felt Oakland may have been stealing signs with a runner on second base, so he requested a change from Travis d'Arnaud during the second inning.
In either case, it was the shortest start of Wheeler's career, coming on the heels of the best start of his career.
"He pitched so well last week that you thought he would really grab the opportunity and take off," Terry Collins said after Tuesday's disappointing loss. "I haven't seen him hit that hard, probably ever."
The A's hit Wheeler when runners were on base and not on base, so I doubt it was a matter of stealing signs. The velocity on his fastball was cooking. However, he had zero command over what the ball was doing. This seems to be the difference between a good and bad start for Zack, and it's something that concerns me going forward. He's tough, smart and focused, so I know he'll figure it out, but he needs to quickly learn how to command his fastball and command an inning. It's fine now, but the day is quickly coming when he's going to be counted on to adjust and deal with nights when he doesn't have his best stuff. Last night was one of those nights, and he failed.