|Mets' Wheeler feels right at home vs. Braves|
ATLANTA -- Zack Wheeler got to make his major league debut nearly five years ago back home in Atlanta with his family and friends watching and the New York Mets right-hander didn't disappoint.
The graduate of suburban East Paulding High School earned a victory at Turner Field on June 18, 2013 while becoming the first Mets pitcher to throw six shutout innings or more in his first game.
Now Wheeler gets to pitch for the first time at the Braves' two-year-old SunTrust Park on Sunday as he continues his comeback at age 27 after missing the 2015 and 2016 seasons because of elbow surgery.
Mike Foltynewicz is the scheduled starter for Atlanta as the Braves try to win the four-game series after scoring twice in the ninth inning for a 4-3 victory Saturday night.
The winning run came on a bunt base hit by Ender Inciarte as the Braves (12-8) moved within two games of the first-place Mets (14-6) in the National League East.
Wheeler has pitched twice since making one start for Triple-A Las Vegas and is 1-1 with a 2.17 ERA while striking out nine and walking four in 13 innings.
The former first-round draft choice of San Francisco held Miami to two hits and a run over seven innings in his season debut on April 11 and has earned a continuing rotation spot even when left-hander Jason Vargas is ready to come off the disabled list next week.
The odd man out will be Matt Harvey, who is being sent to the bullpen in hopes of him getting back on track after allowing six runs over the first three innings in a loss to the Braves on Thursday to start the series.
Harvey said after falling to 0-2 with a 6.00 ERA that "I'm a starting pitcher" and he isn't happy about going to the bullpen.
"On a scale of 1 to 10, obviously I'm at a 10 with being (upset)," Harvey said Saturday after manager Mickey Callaway announced the move before the third game of the series.
Harvey is not just angry at the Mets, though. He's angry with his work so far.
"My performance hasn't been there and I just have to do whatever I have to do to get back in the starting rotation," he said.
Wheeler has made eight career starts against the Braves, going 4-2 with a 2.94 ERA. Four of the starts came at Turner Field, where he was 2-1 with a 1.93 ERA.
First baseman Freddie Freeman, who has thrived against Mets pitching in his career, is the only Braves hitter to have success against Wheeler, going 7-for-14 with two doubles and a home run.
Foltynewicz (1-1) got a no-decision Tuesday against Philadelphia, but the right-hander lowered his ERA to 2.53 while allowing four hits and a run over six innings.
The 27-year-old first-round draft choice of Houston has fanned 26 over 21 1/3 innings in his four starts and continued to get more comfortable working out of a modified stretch with no one on base.
"It's just to keep things quiet," Foltynewicz said. "In the past, I had too many unnecessary moving parts."
Foltynewicz didn't face the Mets last season and has pitched only 10 1/3 innings against them in his career, going 0-1 with a 10.45 ERA in two starts and one relief appearance.