Steven Wright

I don’t know how excited a person should be for a Tuesday night game in Houston, but I was decently excited.

Maybe it was nostalgia for Tim Wakefield and Tom Candiotti, but Steven Wright’s first start for the Red Sox — a spot start designed to give the rest of the rotation a day off — had me legitimately curious. Wright was already 2-0 out of the bullpen, and a start would give him a chance to prove his worth to the club further and reintroduce the haphazard beauty of the knuckleball to Boston.

I love the randomness that the knuckleball brings to the game. The homogenization of the game, from the way its managed to the approaches to at-bats to the way fans are expected to take in and enjoy the entire spectacle, has bothered me for the past few seasons. Wright, without intention, represents a little bit of the chaos that makes baseball much more interesting than watching “three true outcome” brutes strike out and walk their way to a higher on-base percentages.

But this put event that love of the unknown to the test. In Wakefield’s heyday, it was always understood that every start could either be the one where he takes a no-hitter into the 8th inning or the one where he gives up five home runs before the fifth inning. This game would be closer to the latter. (more…)