This guy is known for one game and one game only. I didn't even realize he pitched in two other games between it and actually got the win for both of them. It's that one in the middle that's the most damning. Wright was such an uninteresting prospect that he had to look this bad if he ever wanted to be remembered by anyone. Giving up four home runs in a row had only been done once before, but Chase Wright needed to match history in a career that was destined to be otherwise uninteresting, unceremonious, and just plain ugly.
From his first year in Rookie Ball, Chase Wright made a living in ineptitude, even as an 18 year old. Despite a promising 11.9 K/9, he flat out disappointed in every statistic after that point. It's a miracle he even made it to the majors in the first place, so perhaps Chase Wright can be a symbol for all those that fall very, very short of expectations, yet somehow, by not giving up, will get their day in the sun. Chase Wright got burned.
His lowest walk rate was a 3.2 and his highest strikeout rate after his debut season was a 7.5, both having happened in 2006 in accompaniment with a 1.88 ERA in 119 innings. That was on top of the world for him. In his first six years of professional baseball he averaged an 8.9 H/9, a 5.6 BB/9, and a 7.3 K/9.
It's hard to imagine that anyone thought very highly of him, yet they had to give him a shot. Mike Mussina and Carl Pavano (duh) were hurt. Joe Torre didn't think much of him when he let the 24 year old rookie give up a home run to Manny Ramirez, and then J.D. Drew. He left him in to give up another to Mike Lowell and then another to Jason Varitek. He left him in. Thankfully, Wily Mo Pena was up.
Just like the day Kennedy was shot, you remember what you were doing when it happened. I was sitting in my friends' dorm room, in front of the tv, bragging how awesome the Yankees were and how bad the Phillies (I was in Pennsylvania) were at the time. Then it happened, and it continued to happen. Needless to say, I got destroyed. Thanks, Chase.
He spent the entire 2008 season shuffling around the minors until the Yankees managed to trade him in February of 2009 to the Brewers for Eric Fryer. Five months later Eric Fryer and Casey Erickson turned into Eric Hinske. Thanks, Chase. He rattled around in Triple-A for the next three seasons, managing to be even more terrible than he was in the New York system.
Maybe Wright was just never very good. So why was he such a disappointment? Probably because he was drafted in the third round of the 2001 draft. Scott Hairston was drafted only three picks later, Ryan Howard and C.J. Wilson two rounds later.
Not one to be kept down for long, Wright has looked on his disastrous time with the Yankees with a bit of sad optimism, "I'd rather have had that happen than walk three guys and give up a grand slam." If you're still coming up with something that's worse than the worst thing ever then you must be unstoppably positive about your terrible luck. He pitched for the Somerset Patriots in the independent Atlantic League of Professional Baseball for the 2012 season and scrapped his delivery in favor of becoming a sidearm reliever. Chase Wright might not even be the same person anymore, but at least he's carrying on.
Fun Fact: His pitching coach, Brett Jodie, made one spot start for the Yankees in 2001 on his way to an 8 game career. He has since taken over as team manager from another ex-Yankee, Sparky Lyle. So, maybe there is life after baseball. Maybe it's just more baseball.