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Entries from Empyreal Environs tagged with “Wright (Steven)”

Seven in Eight for Nine

In this season so far it has taken the Red Sox multiple games to accumulate seven runs. That they did so late in a game down by four runs is remarkable. But which Red Sox team will prevail in the coming months? The team that struggles to string together hits or the squad that explodes for a touchdown in a single frame? Rusney Castillo kicked off the eighth with a four-bagger into the Monster seats. It was his first home run in 2015. At least the local nine wouldn’t be shut out at Fenway. Your browser does not support iframes. Bob Melvin pulled Kendall Graveman in favor of Evan Scribner. Scribner relinquished a string of three singles, failing to get an out. The Red Sox winnowed the lead to two runs and had three outs to work with. Drew Pomeranz secured an out but it was a sacrifice fly off David Ortiz’s bat that narrowed the gap to a single run. Melvin reached into his bullpen again and summoned Tyler Clippard. Mike Napoli worked the count full but struck out swinging. Pablo Sandoval’s respite seemed to help him. The third baseman kept the rally alive with a liner to left....

Wrighting the Ship

American League West teams don’t have a lot of chance to practice against knuckleballers. Both current butterfly pitchers, R.A. Dickey and Steven Wright, reside on the opposite coast. Perhaps this unfamiliarity helped Wright prevail. When Wright departed the mound in the seventh inning he had given up four hits, two earned runs, and a walk. He only struck out two batters, but he didn’t need to dominate the Angels, just befuddle them. It helped that the bats came alive behind him. Blake Swihart helped Wright with two runs and a run batted. Wright returned the favor by carrying back Swihart’s special glove with him after his six and one-third innings of work. No bat has heated up more than Mike Napoli’s. He clouted two home runs on Saturday night. Napoli’s resurgence can be traced back to Thursday night when a nine-year old fan named Ethan signed his bat. “Sometimes, there’s kids in the dugout and I go up and have them sign my bat,” he said. “The first home run I hit the other day actually hit where he signed it. It was pretty cool.” Napoli almost fulfilled another fan’s wish in the second inning by hitting a home run...

Scoreless in Seattle

James Paxton extended his scoreless innings streak to 20⅔ by blanking the Red Sox for eight frames. Only Brock Holt managed an extra base hit off the emergent ace, and he was stranded after his seventh-inning double. Blake Swihart grounded out to short to end the incipient rally. I wouldn’t blame the rookie catcher for going 1-for-3 with three left on base. He had a lot on his plate having to catch knuckleballer Steven Wright. The oversized glove Swihart used didn’t help with a passed ball in the second inning that led to the Mariners’ first run. Swihart did catch Justin Ruggiano stealing in the seventh inning. The inning-ending out took the bat out of Robinson Cano’s hands. Xander Bogaerts slid head-first even though Logan Morrison wasn’t near the bag and Paxton failed to cover first anyway. Baseball players: do not do this except to avoid a tag. It only slows you down and increases your injury risk. Game 38: May 17, 2015 Boston Red Sox18-20 0 L: Steven Wright (1-1) 2B: Brock Holt (5) Seattle Mariners17-20 5 W: James Paxton (2-2) 2B: Justin Ruggiano (3)HR: Brad Miller (5), Kyle Seager (5)...

Enemy Mine

It was an evening to embrace one’s nemesis. The fans at Fenway chanted for Derek Jeter even though he had the evening off. Jeter played his last game as a shortstop on Thursday, a night where he sparked a storybook ending at Yankee Stadium. But he will make an appearance as designated hitter at Fenway because he acknowledges the importance of the Red Sox-Yankee rivalry. And so pinstripe devotees and carmine hose followers alike feted Jeter. Your browser does not support iframes. Dan Butler tried to make peace with Steve Wright’s knuckleball but the backstop had a trying game behind the plate. He allowed two passed balls, and they were the only passed balls he has tallied as a major leaguer. Joe Girardi took advantage of his manager’s challenge in the first inning. Yoenis Cespedes was called safe when he stretched a single Chris Young into a double. Replays showed that there was a split-second in time where Cespedes wasn’t touching the keystone sack and Jose Pirela had kept the tag applied. I even softened my stance against Yankee fans and their grammatical errors. Game 160: September 26, 2014 New York Yankees83-77 3 W: Chris Capuano (3-4)H: Shawn Kelley (12),...

Joey Bats

Steven Wright took over for Rubby De La Rosa in the fifth inning. With R.A. Dickey pitching for the Blue Jays it was the first time there were two knuckleballers opposing each other since Charlie Haeger of the White Sox relieved Jon Garland on July 22, 2007 in a game that Tim Wakefield started. The Red Sox defeated Chicago 8-5 that day but didn’t come through with a victory today. De La Rosa was chased from the game by Jose Bautista’s three-run moonshot in the fifth inning. Gose had led off with a walk and Jose Reyes singled to center just prior to Bautista’s 31st homer of the season. Your browser does not support iframes. Wright lasted longer than De La Rosa, turning in five innings with two hits, no runs, one walk, and six strikeouts. He even picked off Reyes in the seventh inning. Dickey went seven innings with a line of six hits, one earned run, no walks, and four whiffs. As annoying as it is to see a team in the division have success, I still enjoy it when one who throws the butterfly ball does well. I hope this kid isn’t around when Yankee fans start...

Wright Knuckles

R.A. Dickey and Tim Wakefield have had their rough spots. But above all they were given the chance to ride out their troubles on the mound. With rookie Steven Wright’s performance last night I wonder how many more opportunities he’ll be given. A team with championship aspirations may not have the patience to live through Wright’s growing pains nor a roster spot to a catcher that specializes in catching knuckleballs. The sheer number of runs scored was too excessive to be enjoyed, like gorging on one bite too many of fettuccine alfredo. Other things we saw too much of last night? Passed balls by Ryan Lavarnway. Strikeouts by Mike Napoli. Kitchens (human and mascot). Game 115: August 6, 2013 Boston Red Sox69-46 15 W: Brandon Workman (2-1)H: Drake Britton (1) 2B: Shane Victorino (17), Dustin Pedroia (27), Ryan Lavarnway (6)HR: Jacoby Ellsbury – 2 (7), Jonny Gomes (9) Houston Astros37-75 10 L: Jordan Lyles (4-6) 3B: L.J. Hoes (1)HR: Robbie Grossman (2), Brett Wallace (9), Jake Elmore (2)...

Eleventh Heaven

Jonny Gomes accomplished a lot for being a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning. He tallied the second out of the inning by fielding Michael Saunders’s liner and firing to Brock Holt to erase the lead runner (using the term “runner” charitably) Kendrys Morales. Gomes then collided against the American League East standings on Endy Chavez’s liner. It was as if the slugger’s desire to knock the other teams in the division down a peg was made manifest in reality. With a 7-2 lead acting manager Robby Thompson decided to let his closer Tom Wilhelmsen get in what he thought would be some easy work. That ended after Daniel Nava’s walk, Ryan Lavarnway’s rope to center, Holt’s run-scoring double to left, and a five-pitch base on balls to Jacoby Ellsbury to load the bases. Thompson decided that Wilhelmsen had enough work at that point and signaled for… well, he had intended to bring in right-handed Yoervis Medina to face Shane Victorino and Dustin Pedroia but instead he gestured with his left hand. The umpires forced Thompson to go with his original signal and Oliver Perez had to take the mound. I searched for the specific rule that Thompson violated but I...

Butterfields of Gold

This is Brian James Butterfield. Mike Napoli bought him a bucket of flowers and Butterfield tended to them in the dugout. He’s sad because this is the team’s last game in Seattle and he must bid his blossoms farewell. This is Brock Wyatt Holt. Just typing that made me pregnant. If you read his name after you just shaved you now have 5 o’clock shadow. Old Hoss Radbourn considered making his moniker more manly to outdo Holt’s handle. Steven Wright earned his first major league win. He took over for Ryan Dempster in the fourth and put in a yeoman’s effort across 5⅔ innings: 3 hits, no earned runs (although he allowed an inherited runner score), 2 bases on balls, and 3 strikeouts. Koji Uehara lost the fan voting for the All-Star game but notched his seventh save and secured a series win. Who needs to celebrate with American League players you spend the whole season trying to defeat when you can high five your own guys? Game 94: July 11, 2013 ∙ 10 innings Boston Red Sox57-37 11 W: Steven Wright (1-0)S: Koji Uehara (7)2B: Ryan Lavarnway (4)HR: Jacoby Ellsbury (3) Seattle Mariners40-52 4 L: Tom Wilhelmsen (0-3) 2B:...

Soggy Slog

Despite the rain the umpires were alert. In the fourth Jerry Layne called Coco Crisp safe. Mike Napoli thought he tagged him and Layne, who was stationed at first base checked in with Hunter Wendelstedt, the home plate umpire. Wendelstedt overruled Layne and Crisp was called out. Both managers came out to argue, John Farrell to support Napoli and then Bob Melvin to dispute the overturned ruling. Steven Wright made his major league debut. The phrase “less than ideal circumstances” comes to mind, but even that doesn’t encompass the awful conditions Wright faced. The Red Sox were already eight runs down. The temperature was cold, as were Boston’s bats. Wright had to bring out a first baseman’s mitt (the pancake glove as Jim Rice calls it) and a clubhouse attendent carried his arctic gear. The knuckleballer’s first pitch was a ball to Brandon Moss. But Wright ended the inning by inducing a 4-6-3 double play. Wright struck out Josh Reddick in the fifth on four pitches. Rain or shine, Major League Baseball authenticators do their duty. This one was on hand to verify Wright’s baseball with a hologram. The manager of the authentication program has a Twitter account but sadly...

That’s Amore

I kind of meh-ed the signing of Mike Napoli but I have warmed up to him. He gets me singing the Dean Martin classic tune “That’s Amore” in my head. The first baseman took a 90-MPH to the elbow in the fourth but stayed in the game. He had already driven in his team’s first run with a double in the second. Napoli blasted the ball into the Monster seats in the bottom of the fifth with the bases loaded. The local nine’s run total doubled to eight with one swing of the bat. The power outage over the day-night doubleheader with the Royals was over and the pummeling of the Athletics pitchers commenced. Felix Doubront enjoyed his second victory of the season and showed off his new haircut. There might be something to the makeovers of a few of the Red Sox players; Will Middlebrooks got his hair did and clouted a solo homer in the fourth. Not that Dustin Pedroia need to change his luck on the field, but some maintenance of the pelt on his cheeks is in order. A haircut might decrease the creepiness of this Athletics fan somewhat. Send whoever clipped the Red Sox players’...


Dustin Pedroia went “La Luna” last night, contributing to another win that kept the barest embers flickering with hope for a playoff berth. With the moon waxing and the Red Sox leading Don and Jerry were in a whacky mood. Jerry fielded questions from Twitter and a viewer asked who picked the bump music this season. Kudos go to lead sound engineer Peter Grenier of the NESN crew. He has peppered the broadcast with Radiohead and U2. He even gave an interview last year to the New England Baseball Journal. Joining the lunatics was Ryan Sweeney. After grounding out to Omar Infante in the eighth the outfielder punched a door in anger and broke a bone in his left pinkie finger and will be out for the rest of the season. His teammates won’t have to learn his replacement’s name – Ryan Kalish was summoned to take Sweeney’s spot. Unlike the Dodgers, Giants, Pirates, Rangers, and Reds the Red Sox didn’t make a big splash at the non-waiver trading deadline. Matt Albers and Scott Podsednik were sent to Arizona in exchange for southpaw reliever Craig Breslow; I guess Ben Cherington misses hanging out with Yale men. I was excited about...


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South End Grounds
Photo courtesy of the Boston Public Library’s Sports Temples of Boston.


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