PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) — Zack Wheeler struggled with his control is his spring training debut.
Wheeler allowed six runs in 1 2-3 innings Wednesday in the New York Mets’ 13-2 loss to the Miami Marlins.
Wheeler gave up two hits, walked two, hit two batters and struck out two. He pitched a perfect first, then got in trouble in the second.
“It’s still early, and fastball command was a little off,” Wheeler said. “I was trying to go in a lot, but it was taking off on me a little bit. I was having a hard time throwing down in the zone with my fastball. That’s something that’s just going to come with throwing it more.”
Mets manager Terry Collins said he wasn’t concerned with Wheeler’s outing.
“Obviously his command was off, but plus stuff, I’ll tell you that,” Collins said. “I think the two hit batters, a lot of it was due to the fact he’s throwing about 96 (mph) and he was pitching in and they couldn’t get away from them.
“That’s not an excuse for the fact he didn’t have his command in the second inning. I saw outstanding stuff. I told Zack, `I’m not worried about anything. You’ll get it going. Just be patient and continue to work on the side.’ His stuff is still very, very good.”
Marlins starter David Phelps, acquired from the New York Yankees in an offseason trade, allowed one run and three hits in three innings, struck out two and walked none.
Former-Met Jordany Valdespin was 2 for 4 with a triple, three RBIs and two runs. Michael Morse was 1 for 2 with two RBIs.
Matt den Dekker was 2 for 3 with a triple, double and scored both Mets runs.
Phelps said he struggled a little because of the long wait between first and second innings in his first spring training start.
Phelps made 87 appearances in three years with the Yankees, including 40 starts. He is preparing as a starter but is ready to shift to the bullpen.
“It’s funny. The last two springs I feel like I’m sitting around getting asked questions, `What do you think about the starting rotation? Do you think you have a shot?’ It’s been deja vu,” Phelps said. “I’m at the point now where it’s like, let’s wait `til April 1 and see where we’re at. I’m just going to go out and do my job and help this team try to win ball games.”
Mets All-Star second baseman Daniel Murphy started in his first appearance since he was on the right hand by a pitch Friday.
Mets first baseman Lucas Duda (left intercostal strain) took 40 batting practice swings Monday, his first BP in more than three weeks. Collins hopes Duda can make his spring debut Friday.
LATOS THROWS SIMULATED GAME
Mat Latos, threw two innings in a simulated game in Jupiter and could make his exhibition debut by the end of the week, Marlins manager Mike Redmond said.
Acquired from Cincinnati in an offseason trade, Latos initially was scheduled to pitch against the Mets on Monday and then was scratched.
Latos had stem cell surgery on his right elbow in October.
Miami hosts Washington on Tuesday. Dan Haren is to start for the Marlins against Max Scherzer.
Bartolo Colon is to start for the Mets against Atlanta’s Julio Teheran at Kissimmee.
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