- Last Updated: 8:01 PM, July 28, 2012
- Posted: 2:16 AM, July 28, 2012
PHOENIX -- Matt Harvey showed he belonged. Zack Wheeler deserves the opportunity to pitch in the majors at some point this season, too.
No one expects Wheeler, 22, to be as good as Harvey was in his record-setting debut Thursday against the Diamondbacks, but it would be worthwhile for the Mets to promote Wheeler to see him perform on a major league mound. The Mets fans are thirsting for good, young pitching, especially after Jon Niese allowed eight runs, six earned, in the Mets’ 11-5 loss to the Diamondbacks Friday night at Chase Field.
Though general manager Sandy Alderson has said Wheeler would not appear in The Show this season, the good news is the Mets, according to sources, constantly are re-evaluating the situation and the decision could be reversed.
It was exactly one year ago today that the Mets acquired Wheeler in the trade for Carlos Beltran.
Wheeler will soon be moved from Double-A Binghamton to Triple-A Buffalo. After hurling a complete game shutout on July 14, he has struggled in his last two starts.
Too often teams worry about the fragile mindset of their players, but in order to be a success at the major league level, a player must learn to deal with failure.
The pregame buzz in the Mets clubhouse at Chase Field Friday night was all about the performance by Harvey in the 3-1 win Thursday. The Mets were hesitant to bring Harvey, 23, up to the majors, thinking he still had something to learn in the minors. Then he went out and dominated the Diamondbacks for 5¹/₃ innings with 11 strikeouts. No Mets pitcher had ever fanned out that many batters in a debut — not Tom Seaver, not Doc Gooden.
Harvey was ready for the challenge and showed he belonged. From what I have seen of Wheeler this season, including his impressive, short outing in the Futures Game, he is not far behind.
Mets manager Terry Collins said Harvey’s performance was “huge for us. If he’s anything close to what he was [Thursday] night on a consistent basis, our rotation has gotten better and ultimately that is what’s going to win baseball games. If you pitch, you got a chance to win.’’
There was no chance to win Friday night as Jon Niese (7-5, 3.86 ERA) was pounded.
Harvey’s next outing will be Tuesday in San Francisco against Tim Lincecum. That will be fun. Harvey will then pitch Sunday in San Diego and make his Citi Field debut Aug. 11 against the Braves.
Harvey celebrated his spectacular debut by going out to dinner with family and friends, but after driving around and finding most of the restaurants in Scottsdale closed, the group settled for ordering room service at The W Hotel and having it delivered to the lobby.
“We had a great time,’’ Harvey said. “I think my mom was still nervous after the game.’’
Harvey wasn’t nervous at all. He stepped up in a big way and said yesterday he felt “tired’’ but great. Bench coach Bob Geren said Harvey was so dominating, players and coaches in the Mets dugout kept turning and looking at one another in disbelief, saying, “Did you see that?’’
Harvey, who grew up a Yankees fan, brings a tremendous winning attitude to the Mets. The prevailing wisdom points to Wheeler perhaps adding some more very soon.
“I think we should bring up Wheeler too,’’ one Met said. “From everything I’ve seen and heard, he’ll be able to handle the situation up here and the experience will give him a leg up for next year.’’
Jim Leyland never has been afraid of putting young pitchers on the spot in the majors. If they have the talent, he is willing to give them the chance.
“When I call down to the bullpen,’’ Leyland said in his blue-collar manner, “I don’t ask how old they are.’’
At some point this season, Wheeler deserves to be up in the majors. It’s the move that is best for the Mets.Follow @NYPostsports