Rays bombed by Twins as Wacha struggles

by Gary Shelton on August 15, 2021

in general

Is it time for Cash to make a move?/JEFFREY S. KING

Sunday, 3 a.m.

Rightly or not, Rays manager Kevin Cash is known for his decisiveness in pulling starting pitchers from the game.

But how is he about pulling starters out of the rotation?

For Cash, it is time to consider how much Michael Wacha is adding to the Rays' starting rotation. Wacha had his third straight rough outing Saturday, falling behind 4-0 in the first and 7-0 by the third in a game the Rays lost 12-0.

Wacha eventually went five innings and gave up 11 hits. In his last three games, he has given up 18 runs in 14 innings. In those three starts, he has given up 22 hits.

 “They're just recognizing pitches on him," said Rays' manager Kevin Cash. "I can assure everyone he’s trying to sort through this. It’s not easy for him right now. He’s getting hit around and hitters are making adjustments on him. The stuff from  the side looks consistent with the stuff he’s had in his better outings.  This is 2-3 in a row where the opposing team is getting to him and getting to him early."

Wacha admitted he's in a rough stretch. It is, he said, a terrible feeling.

"It was definitely not how I wanted the night to go," Wacha said. "Too many pitches over the middle of the plate. Not getting to where I wanted it to be in those first few innings.

“I've never been through a stretch like this. You won't ever see any quit out of me. I believe I'm a much better pitcher than what I've been showing these last few starts. We’ll get it figured out and get it back on track."

The Rays had scored eight runs or more in seven straight games, but were held to only three hits by the Twins' Kenta Maeda.

The Rays will play the Twins again today at 2:10 p.m. Luis Patino will pitch for Tampa Bay against Charlie Barnes.

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