In 2018, barely removed from his teenage years, Bryse Wilson was called up to the bigs and pitched 5 innings of 0 run ball. It looked to be the beginning of a great career for a dude that was called a “Bulldog” competitor. Unfortunately, fastballs, even good ones, can be adjusted to if it’s riding solo in quality. From 2018-2021, the Braves continued to give Bryse shots at the rotation, but the damage was done. Without quality pitches outside of the fastball, the bulldog turned chihuahua, confidence waned, and was traded to the Pirates in the Richard Rodriguez deal (who recently got busted for PEDs).
Kyle Wright seemed to be on this path. The Braves drafted Wright 5th overall in the 2017 draft and, right away, planned to convert the dominant reliever into a workhorse starter.
- 2018, 4 games, 6 innings, 4.50 ERA
- 2019, 7 games, 4 starts, 8.69 ERA
- 2020, 8 starts, 5.21 ERA
- 2021, 2 starts, 9.95 ERA
Kyle’s last MLB start in 2021 of the regular season came on June 23rd, it didn’t go well, and Wright was sent back to Gwinnett in a bad state of mind. From there, he worked. In 98.2 innings after being sit down, Kyle posted a 2.74 ERA, averaged over a strikeout per inning, walked less than 3 per 9, and held opponents to a .569 OPS. Kyle admitted in an interview this spring that his confidence was at an all-time low and this stretch really helped build back what was lost.
In a mop-up role, Braves turned to Kyle Wright in Game 2 of the World Series, after not utilizing him since the aforementioned game on 6/23. He absolutely dominated. It only took him 12 pitches to strikeout the side in his lone inning. The delivery, short and clean. The breaking stuff, electric. The presence, stoic.
We all know what happened next. Dylan Lee, opener for Game 4, lasts 0.1 innings, and the Braves called on Wright in an emergency, and Wright delivered 4.2 innings of game saving baseball.
Confidence was acquired on baseball’s biggest stage.
Ok.. I’ll talk about the game now.
The Braves struck early with a double from Marcell Ozuna scoring Matt Olson and a sac-fly from Ozzie Albies to score Austin Riley. 2 runs held. Wright pitched beautifully and, miraculously, covered 6 innings in his first start after a well-shortened spring. I don’t think we’re talking about the innings from our starters in this first go-around as all3 have went at least 5 innings.
We learned a lot about our new 1B…he sure can run! And by run, he can physically put one foot in front of the other. To his defense, that 2nd throw from Aristides Aquino, coming in at 101.6 MPH, was in the top-5 fastest throws of the Statcast era.
Kyle was brilliant, giving up 2 hits of the singular variety, walking 1, and sending 6 back to the dugout crying. A.J. Minter and Darren O’Day threw scoreless frames, and Will Smith did what he did so well in 2021’s regular season, and gave up a solo dong, but no other runs.
The offensive stars of the game were Marcell Ozuna (3-4 with 2 doubles), Matt Olson (2-3, 1 double, 1BB), and Austin Riley (1-2, 1BB, 1HBP).
The Braves go for the series win in about 1.5 hours and I hope we see Adam Duvall and Ozzie Albies get rolling a bit.