Monday, July 25, 2011

Tim Wakefield: Ironman

Yesterday afternoon, during a typical day game/Mariners beat-down at the Fens, Tim Wakefield continued his solid march toward Red Sox immortality, notching his 2,000th career strikeout with the team, and his 199th career Red Sox win.

Wakey had a bit of a shaky start, giving up three two runs in the top of the first inning, but his teammates were there to back him up, putting a five up on the scoreboard in the bottom half of the first - a nice change, since Wakefield traditionally hasn't enjoyed great run support.

The streaking Sox blew the thing open in the fifth, tacking on another five runs, allowing Wake to stay in the game for the sixth, where he struck out Mike Carp to tally his 2,000th strikeout in a Red Sox uniform.  Jarrod Saltalamacchia was catching, and he headed out:

"I knew it was the 2000th. I gave him the ball and gave him a hug to congratulate him...  Not that guys watch their stats, but that’s a pretty big number so I assumed he knew he was getting close. When I told him, he was like, ‘Congratulations for what?’ I was like, ‘Crap, did I get this wrong?’ I wanted to make sure," he said. "I looked at the [video] board and it said 2,000. He looked up and saw it and just started smiling."

I've made my feelings about Wake pretty clear on this blog: I LOVE HIM.  Over the years, he's done it all for the Sox, from eating innings in the bullpen, to starting, to closing, and though there were some minor hiccups last season with his role, he's been relatively flexible over the years.  Timmy's next win will be his 200th (186th as a Red Sox), and he keeps marching his way toward the team wins record of 192, currently held by some guys named Cy Young and Roger Clemens.

Wake lacks the pure electricity of either of these pitchers, and his status in the record book is a testament to his longevity and tenacity.  Tim Wakefield is Boston's own Ironman, and I for one am extremely proud of him.

[Quotes in this post are from the Boston Globe's Extra Bases Blog.]

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