The good news is that Steven Wright's fourth pitch as a major-league knuckleball pitcher turned into an inning-ending double play.
The bad news is that Wright, on a wind-blown, rain-soaked evening in Boston, just kept on pitching and finished his outing with a 12.27 ERA.
I've watched Wright's (almost) four-inning stint twice now, and can report that his knuckleball, while not as angry as Bobby Dickey's does seem pretty annoyed. Where Dickey often hits 80 miles an hour with his knuckler, Wright's usually in the 76-78 range. Which is still pretty fast for a knuckleball.
Wright's annoyed knuckler didn't look good Tuesday night, and before we blame the conditions it's worth mentioning that Bartolo Colón tossed a shutout. But considering the difference between Wright's style and Colon's style, we might give the former at least a bit of a pass. For whatever reason, his knuckleball was too often up in the strike zone, and flat.
If Wright doesn't fare better soon, he's probably ticketed for Pawtucket again. Tuesday night, Alfredo Aceves started for the Red Sox and got hammered, but John Lackey's on the mend and slated to take Aceves' spot this weekend. Which is probably going to leave little room on the roster for a knuckleballing starting pitcher with a four-digit ERA.
Still, for the moment we've got two knuckleball pitchers in the major leagues. Let's enjoy it while we can.