In Tuesday’s loss, he experienced one inning that perhaps made you think about the old days. But Wright still showed signs that he’s a better pitcher now than he was then.
The Red Sox scored six runs off Wright in the second inning of the right-hander’s start, which lasted 4 2/3 innings.
Wright has allowed six or more earned runs on three other occasions: In the 2020 NLCS versus the Dodgers (seven earned runs), in July 2019 versus the Nationals (seven) and in April of 2019 against the Mets (six). He was charged with seven runs in a single inning versus the Dodgers and Nationals.
“You never want to give up runs, but I think for me, I’m glad I did,” Wright said. “Obviously I’m not glad the way it turned out, but sometimes you get stuck in the trap of just, ‘I got to put up a zero, I got to put up a zero,’ that you lose focus of the very small goal, which is executing a pitch.”
2. After Wright got a quick out to begin the second inning, it continued like this: Single, single, walk, single, walk. Two runs scored.
But with two outs, Rafael Devers blasted a 432-foot grand slam on a 96-mph fastball. Just like that, Atlanta trailed by six runs.
Wright felt he tried to be “too fine” in the at-bats that ended in walks. He lamented not going after those hitters more, especially because Devers homered.
“I feel like (Devers) was the guy I probably should’ve been a little more passive with,” Wright said. “I went at him and he put a really good swing on it, and obviously hit it out.”
Also notable: Wright, who had issued seven walks over his first five starts of the season, walked four batters on Tuesday.
But he still pitched into the fifth. He never felt he panicked. He can build on those things.
“I’m tired of going back to years past because this is this year and I feel like I’m a different pitcher now. But years past, I don’t get out of that second inning,” Wright said. “I probably give up a couple more runs, for all I know.”
Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@
Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@
3. The Braves’ bats never exploded in a way that swung the game, but catcher Travis d’Arnaud continued his impressive offensive start.
With a full count against Boston starter Garrett Whitlock, d’Arnaud sent a two-out, two-run home run over the wall in left-center field as part of Atlanta’s three-run third inning. This cut the deficit in half, but the Braves couldn’t muster enough the rest of the way.
Entering Tuesday, d’Arnaud had the second-best batting average (.299) among catchers with at least 50 plate appearances. He was second with 13 RBIs and fourth with a .780 on-base plus slugging percentage.
The Braves were 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position. They left seven men on base.
4. With his club down two runs and the top of the order due up in the bottom half, Braves manager Brian Snitker went to Tyler Thornburg for the top of the ninth.
Thornburg allowed three runs after tossing 2 1/3 scoreless innings on 35 pitches in his last outing. The Braves hoped to get that kind of efficiency out of him.
“We were behind,” Snitker said when asked why he went to Thornburg. “He’s on our team.”
5. Jackson Stephens has been an unlikely contributor for the Braves this season. He pitched yet another scoreless inning in this game.
Since the Braves recalled him early in the season, he has allowed only two runs over 10 innings. He has not surrendered a run since April 18, and has pitched six consecutive scoreless frames out of the bullpen.
Stat to know
3.03 - Wright entered this game with a 1.74 ERA and left it with a 3.03 ERA.
“I never felt like that inning got away from me. I never felt like, ‘Oh, here we go again.’ I never felt that. I feel like I was just trying to be too cute, be too fine. So for me, I feel like that’s huge just knowing that mentally, I was still in a strong space to get out of that (second) inning. I kind of know a couple things that I did wrong or that felt wrong mechanically, or execution-wise, that I felt like I could work on this week and take into the next start.” - Wright on being prepared to move on from a rough start
Braves right-hander Ian Anderson faces Boston right-hander Nathan Eovaldi in Wednesday’s game, which begins at 7:20 p.m.