Notes: Wise still troubled by errant pitch
Reliever has struggled since injuring Lopez
By TOM HAUDRICOURT
Posted: Aug. 5, 2007
Matt Wise never dreamed the mental hurdle would be this high.
The Milwaukee Brewers' veteran reliever has not been the same pitcher since he hit Cincinnati's Pedro Lopez in the face with a pitch on July 25 at Great American Ball Park. Wise broke Lopez's left cheekbone, sending him to the hospital and onto the 15-day disabled list.
Including that outing, Wise has allowed six hits, four earned runs and two walks in 1 1/3 innings (27.70 ERA) over four appearances. He has not retired a hitter in his last two outings.
That slide continued Sunday when Wise was entrusted to protect a five-run lead over Philadelphia in the ninth inning at Miller Park. Wise committed an error on Wes Helms' come-backer, then surrendered a two-run homer to Jayson Werth.
Manager Ned Yost removed him at that point, but the Phillies went on to score three runs off closer Francisco Cordero to tie the score and eventually win in the 11th.
"'Wiser,' I think, is still battling the after-effects of hitting that guy in the face," Yost said. "He's not himself out there right now. We're going to have to review it and go over it as a staff."
Wise, who was a dependable set-up man before being shaken by the beaning of Lopez, said he had no choice but to get past that incident.
"I'm making baby steps now," he said. "I'm not going to say it didn't affect me. But it's just a crutch, really. I'm a professional and a lot better than how I've pitched the last two weeks.
"Enough is enough. It's time to move on. There's a little bit of tentativeness. That's people stuff, not baseball stuff. I'm ready to move on."