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Matt Wisler shuts down the Red Sox: breaking down an at-bat

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Boston Red Sox v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Let’s face it, no one drew up this year with the idea that Matt Wisler, a journeyman reliever who joined the Rays in a forgettable transaction this season, would be closing out a 1 run game in an August battle for first place.

But it worked, and indeed, Wisler has been a welcome addition to the Rays injury-ridden bullpen.

In a key at-bat last night, Wisler found himself in the highest of high leverage situations: it was the ninth inning, there were Boston runners at the corners, and JD Martinez, a very talented hitter was at the plate.

Let’s break down that at-bat, which, spoiler alert, ended in an out. Wisler started out by falling behind:

Not ideal!

But even a long foul is ultimately a strike:

Unfortunately for the Rays, JD Martinez is not enticed to swing out of the zone. Or will he?

On the last pitch, Martinez thought he needed to swing — and Wisler got the weak contact he needed to end the game:

Wisler’s slider vs. JD Martinez is really strength vs strength, but Wisler got the upper hand in the end: