Steven Wright earned his first major league win as a starter Saturday night. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Stoic Steven Wright picks up first major league win as starter, calls it 'just another day'

Ryan Hannable
May 23, 2015 - 7:45 pm
Categories: 

Following the Red Sox' 8-3 win over the Angels Saturday night, you would never know it was Red Sox knuckleballer Steven Wright's first major league win as a starter. Standing in front of over a dozen reporters, the right-hander was calm, cool and collected, barely even cracking a smile, calling it just another day at the office. "For me, it's just another day," Wright said. "If you try and put too much pressure on yourself you're just going to disappoint and you're going to try and over do things, over work. For me, I am going to try and go in there and throw quality knuckleballs in the strike zone. They are going to put it in play, it's a contact pitch. Today we were fortunate to get balls right at some guys, guys made some good plays. I went as deep as I could." The 30-year-old has made one big league start each of the last three seasons before finally picking up his first win Saturday. He did earn three wins in 2013 as a reliever and another earlier this year in the 19-inning game against the Yankees. Wright went 6 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on four hits, only needed 75 pitches, as he threw first-pitch strikes to 18 of the 24 batters he faced, including the first 11 straight to open the game. Manager John Farrell noted Wright's stoicness, but also how he used being calm to his benefit. "The one thing about Steven is sometimes you wonder if he's got a pulse," Farrell said. "He's very even-keeled. There was no buildup into tonight after the start out in Seattle. Whether he's pitched out of the bullpen, whether he's started, he's been the same guy. "The strike-throwing was excellent, Number of first-pitch strikes. I think about 75-percent first-pitch strikes. He was very calm and it's such a unique pitch coming off a conventional night last night when you have a number of guys with some power arms, it fit in well." Things didn't get off to the best of starts for Wright as he allowed two first inning runs on back-to-back doubles by Albert Pujols and Kole Calhoun, but the knuckleballer settled down, and settled down in a big way, retiring 17 of 18 hitters from the second inning until he walked Matt Joyce with one out in the seventh. In all, he retired 18 of the final 20 batters he faced. "It's one of those things where talking with [catcher Blake Swihart] -- I've worked with him quite a bit," Wright said. "He was saying it was staying up a bit, so that kind of tells me that I am rushing a little bit. It could have been a little bit of adrenaline, but after that I was just concentrating it on getting it down and finding my release point." Wright has made two starts in the place of Justin Masterson since he was placed on the disabled list, and he's made the most of them as he was solid last Sunday against the Mariners, allowing two earned runs in five innings, taking a tough loss. He's done very well in his last five outings (three starts) in the majors overall, posting a 3.00 ERA over 27 innings. His performance would seem to put him in line to make at least another start, but like earning his first win as a starter, the relaxed pitcher isn't worried or thinking about it. "It doesn't matter to me," Wright said. "The only thing I can control is put myself in a good position to make a quality pitch and everything else is out of my control."

Comments ()