ATLANTA - After a long day at Turner Field, the future suddenly looks a lot brighter for the New York Mets.
Just imagine Zack Wheeler and Matt Harvey at the top of the rotation for years to come.
"I hope people saw this," said manager Terry Collins, no doubt referring to New York's long-suffering NL fans. "Certainly they're going to enjoy watching these two guys for a long time. They're going to be around."
Wheeler lived up the hype in his major league debut, pitching six scoreless innings to lead the struggling Mets to a 6-1 victory over the first-place Atlanta Braves and a doubleheader sweep on Tuesday night.
In the opener, Harvey didn't allow a hit until the seventh and struck out a career-high 13 as New York held off Atlanta 4-3.
"I had some jitters going at first," said Wheeler, who went back out to sign autographs in his full uniform after the game. "Then I settled down a little bit, probably the fourth or fifth inning I think it was, found a rhythm, settled down, and I was able to throw all my pitches for strikes."
Wheeler, one of baseball's top prospects, gave up only four hits and struck out seven while consistently reaching the upper 90s on the radar gun. He struggled with control, walking five, but got out of every jam.
After a shaky first, the 23-year-old right-hander - the first child of the 1990s to play for the Mets - struck out the side in the next inning.
The performance was especially sweet since it came not far from where Wheeler grew up and came to prominence at East Paulding High School in Atlanta's northwest suburbs, before going in the first round of the 2009 amateur draft.
Harvey (6-1) fanned six in a row at one point and didn't allow a hit until Jason Heyward's fluke infield single leading off the seventh. The right-hander tired in the eighth as the Braves tried to rally for the second straight game.
"Certain days you wake up and you feel good and you can let it go," Harvey said. "Today was one of those days."