18 August 2005
THIS WEEK IN THE CAPE LEAGUE
OUTSTANDING RELIEF PITCHER AWARD
ORLEANS- While championship-winning teams often vary in make-up, they all typically have great closers - someone who enters the game in the late innings and shuts down the opposition to preserve the win.
Steven Wright, Orleans Cardinals
The 2005 Cape League Champion Orleans Cardinals were no different, as they had Steven Wright (Hawaii) anchoring their bullpen all season. Wright was recipient of the Russ Ford Award for the Cape Cod Baseball League’s best relief pitcher for his outstanding performance during the season.
Wright, a sophomore from Moreno Valley, Calif., finished the regular season with a perfect 3-0 record and a microscopic 0.63 earned run average. He averaged more than one strikeout per inning, fanning 41 batters in his 28.2 innings pitched. Wright allowed only two runs throughout the course of the regular season.
Perhaps his most important statistic was the 12 saves he notched, helping Orleans win close games and stay ahead of the second-place Chatham A’s, who were nipping at the Cardinals’ heels most of the season.
Wright joined three of his Cardinal teammates at the All-Star game in Hyannis July 30, but did not appear in the game. Like Keith Foulke on last year’s championship Red Sox squad, Wright was counted on heavily in the playoffs.
Like Foulke last year, Wright pitched very well in his postseason appearances and was instrumental in the Cardinals second title run in three years. He was on the mound for the final out at Eldredge Park for both the clinching game against Chatham in the divisional playoffs and the deciding game of the championship against the Bourne Braves.
In both clinchers, Wright entered in the top of the eighth and recorded the final six outs of the game. Two-inning closers are rare in today’s game of baseball, but Wright had no trouble completing the task. The third game of the divisional playoffs against the A’s was a back-and-forth game until Wright took the mound and shut down all six batters he faced, allowing Orleans to win the contest 9-7. Wright ended both deciding games in dramatic fashion, getting the batter to strikeout swinging. After he blew the last Bourne hitter away with a hard fastball, Wright threw his glove high in the air in triumph, a memorable scene to all present at Eldredge Park. This past spring, Wright went 5-3 with a 3.26 ERA and four saves for Hawaii. Colin Reed, CCBL Intern, firstname.lastname@example.org
John Garner, Jr.
CCBL Director of Public Relations & Broadcasting
(508) 790-0394 email@example.com
Interns: Stephanie Falco, Jason Itzkowitz, Jenna Kubesch, Michael Kydd, Nicholas Mucci, Colin Reed