The NL West is slipping away from the Giants. The Diamondbacks are beginning to turn the corner, and the Dodgers foray into the All-Star break back into the thick of things. San Francisco, meanwhile, sits in last place, 6.5 games behind the first-place Diamondbacks.
Wednesday will see them face Zack Wheeler, their former top pitching prospect. It was around this time two years ago that they swapped Wheeler for Carlos Beltran in attempts to add a much-needed bat for the stretch run. But Beltran battled injuries and the Giants missed the playoffs while also sacrificing a pitching prospect.
Wheeler will face Matt Cain, who surrendered eight runs against the Dodgers on Friday night. In 10 career starts against the Mets, Cain is 5-4 with a 3.61 ERA. He’s won his last four decisions against them.
Scouting Zack Wheeler
Wheeler’s fastball has a lot of life. Per Brooks Baseball, it averages out at 96.08 MPH, and his sinker averages out at 95.43 MPH. Both pitches have fared quite well, as his heater has yielded a .267 opponents’ batting average while his sinker has yielded a .083 average.
It’s Wheeler’s off-speed pitches that have been getting hit around a little:
Right-handers see a good dosage of sliders more than they do changeups and curveballs, especially with two strikes. Lefties, meanwhile, see a lot of fastballs with two strikes with some curves mixed in. Wheeler generally turns to his Uncle Charlie when he’s ahead in the count, but not as frequently on two-strike counts. The patterns remains the same to righties.
When the batter is ahead, though, it’s fastballs, fastballs and more fastballs. Though there’s always the possibility that Wheeler changes his approach given that he has a 6.00 ERA over his last three starts.