Wisler’s 8-pitch nightmare costs Rays

by Gary Shelton on June 29, 2022

in general

Wednesday, 4 a.m.

He was tired, okay. He had thrown 95 pitches. He was done.

But as Shane Baz walked slowly toward the dugout, perhaps Kevin Cash should have channeled the movie Shane and yelled after him.

"Shane....come back."

Knowing the way the Rays treat their starters, it is no surprise that Cash pulled Baz after 5 2/3 innings in Tuesday night's 5-3 loss to Milwaukee. Although Baz's last pitch was 97-mile-an-hour fastball to strike out Rowdy Tellez, it was the most pitches he had thrown all season. It shouldn’t have surprised anyone that Cash went to Michael Wisler, who had allowed one earned run in his last 12 appearances.

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But it didn't work out.

-- On the second pitch that Wisler threw, Andrew McCutcheon hit a go-ahead two-run homer.

-- On the seventh pitch Wisler threw, Kolten Wong doubled down the right field line.

-- On the eighth pitch Wisler threw, Luis Urias hit a two-run homer.

And that was that. It was a nightmarish half inning for Wisler, who took the loss as the Rays fell 14 games behind the Yankees. They are in fourth place, currently a game and a half behind second-place Toronto.

“It looked like Milwaukee had a good approach," Cash said. "It’s not a big secret what he (Wisler) is doing. He’s going to throw his breaking ball. He’s going to throw it a lot. Generally there is some deception that throws hitters off. Sometimes you’ve got to tip your cap to them.

“I have a lot of confidence with him throwing. We’ll get him right back out there and are confident he’ll pitch well."

The Rays managed just five hits for the night -- Yandy Diaz and Randy Arozarena each had two. A double by Diaz and a single by Arozarena had given the Rays a 1-0 lead, but it wouldn't hold.

Milwaukee's Josh Hader struck out the side in the bottom of the Rays' ninth, blanking Taylor Walls (hitting .165), Vidal Brujan (.160) and Frankie Mejia (hitting .223). In all, the Rays struck out 14 times.

The Rays play an afternoon game today at 12:10 p.m. at Tropicana Field. Jalen Beeks will start for the Rays against Eric Lauer.

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