Brave New World?: Can Harvey and Wheeler Lead a Mets Renaissance?
The Mets sweep of yesterday’s doubleheader against the Braves immediately gave the team its second highlight of the season (the first being the home/away sweep of the Yankees last month). However, the bigger part of yesterdays’ wins down in Atlanta were the two pitchers responsible for those “W’s”. In the opening game Matt Harvey, coming off of his first loss of the season at the hands of the Cardinals, bounced back in dominating fashion, no-hitting the Braves through the first six innings en route to a 13-strikeout 4-3 win. As impressive a performance as that was, Harvey was secondary news last night as highly-touted pitching prospect Zack Wheeler was making his major league debut for the Metropolitans in the nightcap. He too did not disappoint.
As Yogi Berra would say, it was déjà vu all over again for the Braves as Wheeler blanked them through six innings and left the game with the Mets leading 2-0. Though he had some control issues early, he ended up walking five, Wheeler pitched out of trouble and ended up striking out seven. The Mets bats woke up late as they put the game away to the tune of 6-1. All around it was a feel-good night for a team that has had very little to feel good about these days. It’s way too early to think about such things but having two young pitchers with such promise one can’t help but conjure one-two Mets pitching punches of days past. First it was Seaver and Koosman who turned a national joke into a national champ. Then in the 80s it was Gooden and Darling who helped pull the Mets out of their stupor and on their way to their second World Series title.
Again, it’s way too early for such comparisons and it is indeed a bad idea to give Mets fans hope but… you gotta start believing somewhere.