Reds win ‘Balk-off’ with call in extra innings

by Gary Shelton on July 9, 2022

in general

Saturday, 4 a.m.

It was a tap, Matt Wisler said. Nothing more than a tap, a move he has done a lot in his career, to call for a different pitch.

It was a flinch, home plate umpire Edwin Moscoso said. A balk.

It was a loss, Tampa Bay Rays' manager Kevin Cash said. He came out of the dugout to protest, but he admitted he was not watching Wisler at the time.

Add them up, and it was a final bit of frustration in a 2-1, 10-inning loss to the Cincinnati Reds. Mark Kolozsvary came home on Moscoso’s call, allowing the Reds to win a Balk-Off.

Content beyond this point is for members only.

Already a member? To view the rest of this column, sign in using the handy "Sign In" button located in the upper right corner of the blog (it's at the far right of the navigation bar under Gary's photo)!

Not a member? It's easy to subscribe so you can view the rest of this column and all other premium content on

"I didn’t see anything because I wasn’t looking at Wis," Cash said. “I did hear there night have been a flinch. I have to go back and look. Talking to Edwin at home plate and the second base umpire Lance Barrett, they said that he flinched and it was a balk.

“He (Wisler) was surprised. We were all surprised. You don’t expect to end a ballgame like that. Wisler’s argument is that it’s something he has consistently done in the past. Like I said, I have to go back and look."

The call left Wisler with his palms up, wondering what he had done illegally.

"I felt like I’ve done that move a lot of times," Wisler said. "I just tap my leg when I want another sign.  Obviously it sucks the way we lost the game. It’s not a guarantee I would have gotten him out anyway, but I would like the chance to make the pitches and do it. If he saw something, I get it.  I just need to know if it’s a different rule because I’ve done it a lot in my career,"

That wasn't the only frustration with the loss. Starter Shane McClanahan was disappointed over his first three innings (he went six and allowed just one run and three hits). The Rays had only five hits and one run themselves.

Then there was the 10th. With Francisco Mejia on second with no one out, he got only to third on a single by Josh Lowe. Yandy Diaz then grounded to shortstop Kyle Farmer, who threw Mejia out at the plate (the Rays protested unsuccessfully). And Lowe was double off second on a soft liner up the middle to end the inning.

“Wander didn’t hit that ball very hard" Cash said. "Josh didn’t have the best read."

The Rays are now 15-15 in one-run games.

The Rays and Reds play again today at 4:10 p.m. at The Great American Ballpark. Drew Rasmussen will start for the Rays against Hunter Greene.

Previous post:

Next post: