Originally posted on Fox Sports Houston  |  Last updated 5/2/12
Astros lefty reliever Wesley Wright has evolved into the ultimate situational pitcher. The 27-year-old lefty rarely faces more than one or two hitters every time he hits the mound. While his season statistics are not impressive with his 4.76 earned run average, his effectiveness lately has been. Wright who was originally a Rule V draftee from the Dodgers in 2008 has been sent into the game in twelve of Houston's first 24 games. He has only pitched five and a third innings. Manager Brad Mills used Wright to get lefthanded hitters out, and lately, only one at a time. The fastballslider hurling Wright has been doing a great job of late. In his last nine appearances, which average less than a full inning each, he has not allowed a hit. He has walked the only hitter he faced three times, but former teammate and fellow lefty Tim Byrdak, now with the Mets, says that is not really so bad. "You would much rather walk a big hitter on a three and two pitch than groove him something just to get it over the plate," Tim said in a clubhouse conversation prior to Tuesday's game in Houston. "When I was with the Astros I walked a few lefty hitters that I was brought into the game specifically to get out. It is the lesser of two evils. You WANT to get them out, but a walk is much better than a three-run or even lead-off homer." Lately, that has not been a problem for Wright. He has been getting them out and not wasting pitches. Appearing in both the first two games of the series with the Mets the Alabama native was called in to get the first hitter in the inning. In both cases he got his man to ground out on the first pitch. In Wright's twelve appearances so far he has faced only one batter in eight of them. At the beginning of the season he was staying in a bit longer and two games during that span, including the second of the season, inflated his earned run average. For a reliever, especially one who often only works a third of an inning at a time, it will take a long time for that ERA to be impressive. Baseball is often too stat oriented. The fact is that Wright is getting the job done as the Astros' lefty short reliever. If he keeps doing that, the bad outings in early April will be of no matter.
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