Zack Wheeler

Collins: Pitchers' Health Comes First

NEW YORK — For nearly eight innings, Steven Matz made it look too easy. Catch, throw. Catch, throw. He dispatched the Braves with robotic efficiency. But after Wednesday's masterful performance in the Mets' 8-0 win at Citi Field, we couldn't help but wonder: What if?

Let's say Matz doesn't leave that 1-and-2 sinker up to Jhoulys Chacin, the Braves' starting pitcher, whose ground-ball single in the third inning, with two outs, was their only hit until the eighth. Imagine Matz still had the no-hitter intact, and got within four outs of finishing it, but was sitting on 110 pitches or more.

What then? That same scenario, with any of his young starters, is something that...