Weiland turns in dominating performance

Electric.

That was the adjective Pawtucket Red Sox manager Arnie Beyeler used to describe Kyle Weiland’s pitches Wednesday night against the Rochester Red Wings.

“He has pretty electric stuff that’s fun to watch,” Beyeler said after Weiland tossed eight innings of one-hit ball en route to a 4-1 victory. “He has a good sinking fastball. He’s throwing a little breaking ball to work the other side of the plate for the right-handers. He’ll mix in a changeup every now and then.

“But the thing for him is pounding the bottom half of the zone with 93, 94 mile an hour fastballs. He’s got a little cutter to get guys out front and mis-hit things and get groundball outs. Just be aggressive and get ahead.”

Get ahead, indeed.

Weiland no-hit Rochester for 5 2/3 innings before the Red Wings scored in the sixth on a hit batter, a passed ball and a two-out single by Dustin Martin.

In addition, Weiland:

  • Struck out a season-high 12 batters (the most whiffs by a Pawtucket pitcher since Bruce Chen fanned 12 on September 6, 2003 versus Ottawa).
  • Threw a season-high 99 pitches – 70 for strikes which computed to a mind-boggling 71 percent.
  • Improved his record over his last nine starts to 5-2 with a 2.28 ERA (13 earned runs in 51 1/3 innings).

“It all starts with the fastball,” said Weiland. “When you’re able to command it in and out, usually the other pitches follow. That was the case tonight. I had all four pitches tonight and for the most part I had command of all four of them except for the few times that I didn’t and I hit guys (Weiland hit three batters). Unfortunately, one of them scored.

“It’s one of those things when you come out early and when (the fastball) is there and you don’t have to find it, it’s a confidence booster and you’re on a roll after that.”

Other than the inning in which Rochester scored, Weiland allowed only two other Red Wings to reach base.

Overall, this Triple-A rookie is 7-6 with a 3.03 ERA replete with 93 strikeouts and only 37 walks in 86 1/3 innings. And in three of his losses, Pawtucket has scored two or fewer runs.

Weiland credited catcher Luis Exposito for his ability to dominate Rochester.

“That’s a huge been a part of my success and it always has been,” he said. “Every time we’re on the same page it allows me to get a nice rhythm. That’s kind of a bonus when you and your catcher know each other.

“This is my third season with him. We know each other well. He knows what I like to go to and he knows what my best pitches are that day.”

As far as the Red Wings were concerned, Weiland had an abundance of “best pitches.”

EXTRA BASES: Exposito’s two-out, fourth-inning single gave Pawtucket a 1-0 lead … After Rochester tied it, Pawtucket pushed across three runs in the sixth … Hector Luna led with a home run, Daniel Nava got an RBI when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Ryan Lavarnway drew a bases-loaded walk.

Categories: Kyle Weiland

Sports editor at The Warwick (RI) Beacon from 1973-78. Sports writer at The Times (Pawtucket, RI) from 1978-1999. At The Times, I was the beat writer for the Pawtucket Red Sox and Providence College basketball. Retired from The Times in the fall of 1999. Have covered the Pawtucket Red Sox in one capacity or another since 1976. One of only two sports writers who covered The Longest Game (the 33-inning game between the Rochester Red Wings and Pawtucket in 1981). Member of the Words Unlimited Hall of Fame (Words Unlimited is a Rhode Island organization of sports writers, sports casters and sports publicists). Blogs in-season with a first-hand look at the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox.

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