In the hours after his first major league victory, Zack Wheeler joked that he smelled like a brewery. A plastic bag sat inside his locker stall, and inside was a baseball — a souvenir of his first major league strikeout.

Seventeen hours later, it was all gone – the beer-soaked jersey, the game-used baseball and every other remnant from his major league debut. Even his name was missing.

Wheeler will return to the Mets in time for his next start Tuesday against the Chicago White Sox. But with the Mets in need of other players, they sent Wheeler back to their Class AAA affiliate.

"I’m sure he would have loved to [stay]," manager Terry Collins said before Wednesday’s game at Turner Field. "But he certainly understood the whole situation. And he’s going to be back. He’s going to pitch when his turn comes up."

Wheeler tossed six shutout innings Tuesday, earning his first victory in a 6-1 win over the Braves.

"I certainly thought there was a chance that he might overthrow a little bit … could be a little wild," Collins said. "I thought he handled it great."