Teammates talk Wieters
This just in: this Matt Wieters guy is pretty good. Wieters, who celebrated his 25th birthday yesterday by setting a new career-high hit streak (10 games), threw out a pair of runners in Sunday’s 2-1 series win over the Nationals.
Wieters ended the game by taking Roger Bernadina’s called third strike –which was a full-count breaking ball from Kevin Gregg — and firing it down to second base to nab pinch-runner Brian Bixler. Wieters also threw out Michael Morse to end the second inning and has caught 13 of 27 potential base stealers this season.
While Wieters will be the first one to give credit elsewhere –citing Gregg’s quick time to the plate and the accuracy of the pitch he caught — his teammates had no problem heaping on the praise. Neither did manager Buck Showalter. Here’s what they had to say.
“To catch and throw that ball, he’s probably the best throwing catcher in the game right now.”
“I knew [Bixler would] be running. They didn’t put him over there just to stand over there. I’ll take my chances anyone running on Wiets. I’m pretty quick to the plate every time I go out there.”
“That’s what he’s been doing this whole season, just putting good throws out there. All we do is catch it.”
[On comparing Wieters defensively to Joe Mauer, his teammate last year]
“I don’t know what his numbers are, but I feel like he’s thrown everybody out that runs,” Hardy said of Wieters. “That’s pretty good.”
“That’s amazing. I’ll tell you the other thing is Kevin, and we have him talk some to the young pitchers, he’s 1.2 [seconds] to the plate…and that doesn’t happen with a lot of guys who pitch out of the bullpen. We’ve said all along, if you guys can just give Matty a chance, he can really help you. That’s happened more than once this year in situations like that.
And being accurate…just watched it coming through. We have players go in and watch it. Nick [Markakis] was in there watching it. The accuracy of it. I’ll tell you how hard that is to do.”