Wisler adjusting nicely to life in the Majors
ATLANTA -- With three starts under his belt at the Major League level, rookie right-hander Matt Wisler is adjusting to the big leagues with a "business as usual" approach.
With a 2.60 ERA and 2-1 record thus far, it's safe to say the early returns of that approach have been successful.
"The main thing is just, it's another game," Wisler said. "Same thing up here, getting in the regular mode up here in between starts. Do what I normally do to get ready for starts. So I'm just kind of settling in now."
Wisler has focused on slowing the pace of his game down, and also keeping his pitches down. In both of his home starts, he's been successful with that, but had a bit of a learning moment in Washington on June 25 against the Nationals.
"I was rushing a little bit, kind of trying to do a little too much with it," Wisler said. "Keeping the ball up in the zone. [I] just have to stay relaxed, and stay down in the zone here."
In addition to getting used to the speed of the Major League game, Wisler has also started to get used to Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell -- who Wisler said had never seen him pitch before his Major League debut on June 19 against the Mets.
"Now we're starting to get to the point where he's been working [with me] a little bit on different stuff," Wisler said. "Working on the extension of the slider, and talking through different things."
On Wednesday against the Nationals, in his most recent start, Wisler's slider looked as sharp as it has been with the Braves, and he struck out Bryce Harper -- currently one of the best hitters in the game -- with the pitch.
"I think he threw me two on the backside, struck me out with one," Harper said after the game. "Good pitch, and sometimes you just have to tip your cap."
This season, Harper has hit sliders worse than any other pitch -- just a .221 batting average against the pitch. And Wisler undoubtedly knew that.
"Scout the guys, see what their weaknesses are," Wisler said. "And attack what their weaknesses are."
This one strikeout of Harper -- which showcased his tweaks with McDowell as well as his scrutiny of opposing hitters -- illustrates just how well Wisler has adjusted to the Majors so far.