Run by The Trentonian's Nick Peruffo, this blog will provide daily multimedia coverage of the Trenton Thunder.
Friday, June 1, 2012
The Zack Wheeler show
In nine days, there will be a pitching matchup at Waterfront Park you'll really want to see. Brett Marshall will be on the hill for Trenton, and he's the undercard. The main event, to continue this metaphor, is Zack Wheeler, the former Giants prospect who was dealt to the Mets at last summer's trading deadline so San Francisco could rent Carlos Beltran for two months.
Even with his appearance in Trenton just a week and a half away, I wanted to make sure I saw him before he got bumped to Buffalo. So, with an off day in hand, I made the drive to Reading to watch Wheeler do his work against the R-Phils.
I was expecting a very good pitcher, and Wheeler exceeded every expectation. He consistently hit 97 miles per hour and even reached triple-digits once in the first inning. Combine that with a no-chance slurve and a change-up, and Reading -- the best hitting team in the league -- was done for from the jump.
Back-to-back doubles in the seventh put the only blemish on one of the most dominating performances I've seen this year. He finished with 7 innings of three-hit, one-run ball with eight strikeouts and no walks.
In speaking with Wheeler after the game, he said that the weather warming up has helped him throw his curveball better, which has helped him turn it on of late. Over his last four starts, the point at which he noticed his hook improving, Wheeler is 4-0 and has 30 strikeouts in 27 innings.
Here's the complete interview with Wheeler, with some help from Mike Drago of the Reading Eagle, in which Wheeler talks about hitting 100, a new change-up grip, and other good stuff from the 22-year-old.
Oh, and there's video. I shot every pitch of his outing and kept his eight punchouts. Here they are: