Friday, July 07, 2006

Wilbur and Orville Would Be Proud

Was that the game of Jaret Wright's life? It certainly appears to have been. 6 innings, 91 pitches, 4 hits, no walks, 10 strikeouts. He did all that with a 1-0 lead and held it against a pretty good lineup. The last time he was even close to that good was.....last August 22nd against Toronto. He went 7 shutout innings in that one. He had a little more run support then, as the Yanks put up 7 runs for him.

Looking back over the last 3 and a half seasons, today was certainly the best he's pitched. In 2003 he was a bullpen pitcher splitting time between San Diego and Atlanta. In 2004, he caught fire with Leo Mazzone and the Braves and recaptured some of his former starting mojo to produce a 15-8 record and a career best 3.28 ERA. In 2005 Wright cashed in on his terrific year in Atlanta by stealing a free agent contract from the reckless spending Yankees. Pavano joined him in an offseason that looks more and more like a gigantic joke from a pitching perspective. He only appeared in 13 games for the Yankees with a 6.08 ERA and a 1.78 WHIP. Injuries marked the early part of the season this year for Wright, but he's come back to make good account of himself at the back of the rotation. He's thrown a few clunkers, but it's hard to complain about the outings he's had overall. From the #4 position in the rotation he's held his own and kept us from completely sinking.

Today's outing is also remarkable considering where Wright has come from prior to 2003. Between 2000 and the end of the 2002 season he appeared in a grand total of 24 games for Cleveland, throwing 99 innings with a 7.27 ERA and a 1.91 WHIP. Career over, right? Wrong. San Diego took a chance that he could provide long relief, and 3 and a half years later he pitches a 6 inning shutout with no walks and 10 Ks. Think he's going to celebrate tonight?

You have to award Wright the Yankee Medal of Honor for his performance and hope that he gives you outings even half that good the rest of the way. If he can go 6 innings each time and keep his ERA at its current 4.23 we'll have stolen a break in an otherwise tough season. By the way, if his ERA stays at 4.23 it will mark the second best average of his career. Thank you Jaret Wright. See you tomorrow. Go Yanks.

2 comments:

bobtaco said...

Hey Mike -

I really enjoy your writing here, thanks for the dedicated blogging.

In regards to Wright, do you think the Yankees will pick up the option for the third year, or void it since he missed so much time previously? Obviously if he pitches like this consistently they will keep him. But it always seems to be two steps forward, one and a half steps back with Wright.

I think it is only the difference of three or four million dollars, so I assume the Yankees thinking now is to keep him.

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