I didn't like Theo signing him for two years, even though it was largely an incentive-based contract. And so far this season, Wells has given me little reason to even consider changing my opinion.
Making his first start since April 25 yesterday afternoon in Oakland, Wells lasted 1.1 innings, allowing seven runs and nine hits on only 49 pitches. While several of the hits were grounders that just found their way through the infield, it was clear that Wells was fooling no one. The A's did not swing and miss on any of his 49 pitches.
Jeremi Gonzalez, who had been scheduled to start the game before Wells came off the disabled list, then allowed four of his first five batters to reach base, putting Boston in a 9-0 hole after two innings. Oakland was hitting .706 (12-for-17) after two trips through the order. (By the way, the A's swung and missed at only one of Gonzalez's 75 pitches.)
Wells will eat a lot of innings -- and anything else in his path, it seems -- but he's also been only league average in six of his last nine seasons. There is no reason to expect him to be anything other than a decent place holder at the back of the rotation, who will occasionally throw a good game. In six starts, he's has two non-shitty outings. His ERA is 6.75 and he has an opponents batting average of .346.
After the rout, the media wanted to know if Wells thought he should have made a rehab start? "I'm not going to answer any questions like that because obviously you guys think I should have. I know what I'm capable of doing. Because the game looked bad today, you guys are going to decide I needed one."
Seth Etherton held the Red Sox to four hits (including two solo homers) in seven innings. Boston rallied for four runs in the eighth, making the final score of 13-6 sound way closer than it really was. It was the first time Oakland had scored at least 10 runs in a game this season, making them the last team to do so.
Since his hitting streak ended at 18 games, Damon has gone 2-for-22. ... Cla Meredith was sent to Pawtucket to make room for Wells. ... Red Sox batters walked 11 times Tuesday. The team record is 15 against Washington July 7, 1949 and the White Sox May 7, 1992. ... Manny Ramirez is putting his 400th HR ball on eBay -- with the proceeds going to charity.
In Seattle, Jason Giambi took strike three with the bases loaded in the ninth inning as the Yankees lost 7-6, their first defeat in 11 games. Baltimore beat the Royals again, so Boston is still in second, though now 3.5 games behind. ... Day off today.
Probable Atlanta match-ups:
Friday: Wade Miller / Mike HamptonAfter that, it's back out on the road, first to Toronto, then to New York, where the Yankees are considering tweaking their rotation to throw Randy Johnson, Carl Pavano and Mike Mussina at the Sox. Bring it on.
Saturday: Tim Wakefield / Tim Hudson
Sunday: Matt Clement / John Smoltz