Home > Game Recaps, MLB > Red Sox Game 94 recap: Ryan wrong, Steven Wright!

Red Sox Game 94 recap: Ryan wrong, Steven Wright!

Highest WPA: Steven Wright, .351 (5 2/3 IP, 3 H, 2 BB, 3 K, 0 R)
Lowest WPA: Ryan Dempster, -.569 (3 1/3 IP, 9 H, 4 K, BB, HR, 7 R, 4 ER)

Wow. That’s… a baseball game. Of all the men who might have had an impact on the 2013 Red Sox, I was not counting on Stephen Wright having a relief appearance for the ages.

A knuckleballer with lousy control in the minors, Wright really had no business getting half the attention he’s gotten since being “that guy we traded Lars Anderson for.” But today, when Ryan Dempster was unable to get out of the fourth, Wright stepped up and took the Sox through the ninth without allowing any uninherited runners to cross the plate. He did it with a fair bit of luck, but plenty of ground balls and a solid number of strikes. I fully expect that given another chance, he’ll be completely terrible and get sent right back down to AAA, but you know what? That’s just baseball. A knuckleballer with incredible success for a few hours to keep his team in the game is one of those great stories that I’m willing to enjoy despite its utter improbability and unsustainability.

After seeing five shutout frames by Wright, the Mariners made the fateful decision to intentionally walk Jacoby Ellsbury with two out and a runner on in the tenth. The logic seemed simple – Daniel Nava hadn’t reached base all afternoon in five attempts. But Nava, a man familiar with improbable/legendary/storybook baseball himself, lined a single that plated Jackie Bradley from second for what would prove (after a frightening foul ball from Jason Bay) to be the winning run.

The Sox are now 4-3 on this long, first-“half”-ending west coast trip. Wright may have pitched himself out of a chance to start Sunday (but hey, with knuckleballers, maybe rest is unnecessary!), but considering how poorly this game started, I’ll gladly take the result: a guarantee of being in first place at the All-Star break.

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