When the Red Sox acquired Steven Wright from the Cleveland Indians for Lars Anderson, we only slightly paid attention because of the pitcher’s name.
The trade meant the Red Sox organization now had a pitcher who shared a name with the legendary Cambridge comedian known for his one liners.
|(Photo by Steven Senne/Associated Press)|
“I’d kill for a Nobel Peace Prize.”
Other than that, the July 31, 2012 deal gave fans of either team little to be excited about. Anderson was supposed to be the next big thing for the Red Sox and wasn’t.
After being ranked the No. 17 prospect in baseball by Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus in 2009, Anderson played just 30 games for Boston. He hit .167 with no home runs.
So the Red Sox sent Anderson to the Indians for a minor league pitcher who had just made the conversion to being a full-time knuckleballer.
“If you were going to shoot a mime, would you use a silencer?”
As it turns out, Anderson, who is in hitting .208 with a home run in eight games for the Triple-A Oklahoma City Dodgers this season, is impacting the 2016 Red Sox in a way we could have never imaged.
That pitcher Anderson was traded for has turned out to be the true ace of the Red Sox.
Wright (pictured) is 5-4 on the season after the Memorial Day gem in Baltimore. That, though, doesn’t even tell half the story that is Steven Wright.
“I spilled Spot remover on my dog. Now he’s gone.”
The victory in Baltimore was Wright’s third complete game of the season, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. On Saturday, the Red Sox bullpen had a complete meltdown. On Sunday, the Sox desperately turned to Clay Buchholz out of the pen in the 11-inning win.
Wright’s nine-inning effort not only helped the Red Sox win the opener of the key four-game set with the Orioles. By saving and resetting the bullpen, he also greatly improved the team’s chances of winning the next three.
That right there is ace material.
“It’s a small world, but I wouldn’t want to paint it.”
Despite making one less start than David Price, Wright has logged one more inning (69.2) than Boston’s $30 million man. He also has half the ERA of Price (2.45 to 5.11).
While Price is 7-1 and Rick Porcello is 7-2, Wright has clearly been the most valuable of the three. Wright could easily be 9-0. In his four losses, the Red Sox have scored a grand total of six runs to support him.
If the playoffs started today, who would you start in the series opener? Well, probably Price, but you had to think about for a second.
“I was trying to daydream, but my mind kept wandering.”
With Buchholz giving us so many headaches, Price struggling before Dr. Dustin Pedroia diagnosed a problem, and Joe Kelly playing Jekyll and Hyde, Wright has been a stabilizing force for the Red Sox rotation and then some.
He has become a bona fide weapon.
Instead of the comedian, Wright is now reminding us more of Tim Wakefield in 1995 — when he posted a 16-8 record with a 2.95 ERA in his first year in the Boston rotation.
Either way, the trade of Anderson for Wright just might be making us laugh for years to come.
“Whenever I think of the past, it brings back so many memories.”