Zack Wheeler was brilliant in game one of a doubleheader on Sunday in a 1-0 win. His line: 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K. He threw 66% of his pitches (65 of 98) for strikes. It was far and away his best outing in his five tries in triple-A for the Bisons.
I caught a few pitches early in the game on Bisons.tv, but apparently, he held his mid-90s velocity into the seventh. His curveball was sharp early.
Wally Backman, his skipper was impressed:
“I think we’re just seeing the surface of it. He really dominated today. He threw the ball by all those hitters. He threw his breaking ball for strikes. When he can pitch like he did today, he’s going to be dominant. For him now, it’s just going to be a matter of consistency.
It’s a power arm, with a power breaking ball. He threw a few good changeups today as well. He stayed ahead of the hitters, pounded the zone. They couldn’t just sit on his fastball cause he had good command of his breaking stuff.
I just believe, that he’s young enough, that if this kid stays healthy, he’s going to mature into something pretty special.
He kept the ball down and pounded the zone, down. Those are the things he’s going to have to learn to do consistently. He’s shown that he can do it. Earlier, he’s had a bad inning here, or a bad inning there, in the course of a game, [but] today, he got through all of that and it shows that when he’s right, he can be dominant.
Game two, an 11-9 Rochester win, was a complete mess in which the Bisons walked seven men. LHP CJ Nitkowski, who’s comeback is a nice story had a ______ (fill in the adjective) outing: 1.1 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 1 BB, 0 K.