Knuckleballer Steven Wright might just become the Red Sox’ next Mr. Versatility — much like knuckleballer Tim Wakefield.
Yes, Wright had a terrible big league debut against Houston. He threw four passed balls and one wild pitch in a dismal three-run first inning.
But Wright has had a strong season. He entered his start yesterday with a 3.65 ERA and two complete game shutouts in 20 starts for the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox.
He also has two wins out of the bullpen for Boston this year. He pitched 8.2 scoreless innings in those two wins.
Wright went one-on-one with Eagle-Tribune writer Christopher Smith.
Smitty: Did you ever see Tim Wakefield pitch?
Wright: Yeah, I’ve seen him live like four or five times. I’ve seen him in the Metrodome when I was 12 and I’ve seen him in LA or Anaheim when I was 13 of 14.
When I was in the Cape (Cod) League, I went to two Red Sox games and both games he was pitching.
Smitty: You grew up in California so how did you happen to be at a game in Minnesota at 12 years old?
Wright: We had a (baseball) tournament in Burnsville and Lakeville, Minn. We actually had a kid that I played with, Justin Sellers (now a Dodgers infielder). His dad was Jeff Sellers and pitched for the Red Sox. And so when we were there, the Red Sox were in town.
Smitty: Was it Wakefield’s complete-game shutout in 1995 when he didn’t give up a hit until the eighth inning?
Wright: I think it was that game. It was so long ago but all I remember was he was just (unbelievable). Just watching him throw. And we were sitting right where the players come out. And I think Jim Rice might have even been the hitting coach.