Wheeler facing familiar foe in 2014 debut

Examining Wheeler’s previous starts.

As Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler gets ready for his 2014 debut against the Nationals Thursday, amNewYork examines his three starts against them last season.

June 30, 2013

Nationals 13, Mets 2

Wheeler disappointed Mets fans in his first start at Citi Field. He suffered his first career loss and needed 89 pitches to get through just 42/3 innings. He gave up five earned runs, including homers by Jayson Werth and Adam LaRoche. Four of the six hits that he allowed were extra-base hits (two doubles, two home runs). Backup catcher Anthony Recker pitched the ninth inning for the Mets in the rout.

Aug. 31, 2013

Mets 11, Nationals 3

Along with notching his second career RBI, Wheeler improved his record to 7-3 with 62/3 solid innings of work. Although he tied a season low with just three strikeouts, he surrendered only two runs on five hits and threw 69 of his 99 pitches for strikes. The Mets lit up Dan Haren and scored eight runs in the first three innings, making this an easy win for Wheeler. His ERA dropped to 3.36, the lowest it had been since his second career start on June 25.

Sept. 11, 2013

Nationals 3, Mets 0

A lack of run support ruined a stellar performance, as Wheeler dominated the Nats over seven innings. He struck out six on the evening, including Adam LaRoche twice. The lone run that he surrendered came in the form of a Ryan Zimmerman solo homer. Although he further lowered his ERA to an impressive 3.22, his record fell to 7-5 on the season as the Mets were blanked at Citi Field.