July 28, 2007

Wake Tops At The Trop

No opposing pitcher has collected more victories at Tropicana Field than Tim Wakefield.

The knuckleballer is 8-0 with a 2.33 ERA in 18 games (12 starts); Mike Mussina, Andy Pettitte and Roy Halladay all have seven wins in Tampa. Wakefield is also tops overall, with a 17-2 record (Mussina is 16-7).

Wakefield (12-9) has also received a decision in each of his 21 starts this season, tying the Red Sox record first set by Tom Brewer in 1957. Wakefield is the sixth pitcher since 1980 to earn a decision in his first 21 starts. (Jack McDowell had 27 straight decisions (and was 22-10 in 34 starts) for the 1993 White Sox.)

The Red Sox have won seven of their last eight games and are now 23 games over .500 (63-40) for the first time this season. Their lead in the AL East is back up to eight games.


Zenslinger said...

It's been said, but bears repeating: why didn't this man long ago move to a team that plays in a dome? Not that I don't like him on the Sox, but...in a way his staying with us violates a healthy self interest.

allan said...

in a way his staying with us violates a healthy self interest.

As does his reserve clause type contract at $4 per.

He simply loves playing for the Red Sox. Too bad he comes attached to the Stud Who Used To Hit Bombs.

Zenslinger said...

Stud Who Used To Hit Bombs

Huh? Oh...Dougie. Well, you need a second catcher regardless, but, yes, even Nieves is getting up there even with the Mirable Man. (All right, don't hurry to update the glossary on account of that lame stab.)

Yeah, $4m a year for a so-so but reliable old pitcher seemed all right at the time. It gave him the option of playing as long as he wanted and all -- but it does look worse and worse for Wakefield as other league-average types get $8-10m per as long as they're reliable.

And what happens if Lester shines tonight? With Schilling coming back, the Lester v. Gabbard thing becomes interesting. Some say to move Wake to the pen. I doubt they want to do that, but it makes a kind of sense since he's so flexible. But who would you send down? There's only Synder -- and he's got a 2.95 ERA! Or Julian -- but the Indians couldn't get an earned run in against him in his dominating 14-9 win out of the pen on Thursday! Heh...maybe one of them will be gone with the trade winds. And it doesn't sound like Donnelly's return is imminent enough to complicate this any further.

I don't think they can even consider carrying 13 pitchers at this point, with offense being the problem more often than not and question marks hanging over Drew and Ortiz some of the time. Hinske has been useful even if his overall numbers aren't spectacular (he did win one game for us all but single handedly).

When does the roster expand?

tim said...

Woe is Theo. What an awful problem to have - too many players!

[/blatant sarcasm]

This is just great, Sox have 6 quality starters and one hell of a bullpen that you cant find anyone to send down! I agree with Zen up there, hitting is a bigger question mark than pitching so they should stock that up as opposed to the 'pen.

Zenslinger said...

Indeed, Tim, it's so incredible to have a bullpen. Again, at the risk of repeating myself, not having to depend on Ortiz for heroics is amazing (especially since we wouldn't be getting them most of the time!)

Even without isolating bullpen performance, the tale these numbers tell is...is very telling!

Team ERA

2004 4.18
2005 4.74
2006 4.83
2007 3.69

How on earth did we make the playoffs in 05? Our best starter by far was Wake (16-12, 4.15 ERA @ 106+). Even though Boomer did well against expectations and managed 15 wins, his 4.57 ERA was 99+. Without excellent years from Timlin (2.25 ERA 197+)and Myers (3.13 ERA 147+) and some part-time nice work from Papelbon and DiNardo, the pitching staff would have been a disaster that year. At least for a big-budget team.

This year's kind of performance (3.69 = 122 ERA+) goes to further emphasize that our lead over the Yanks isn't soft. They'll have to play more than good ball to catch up. They'll have to be incredible, and still hope every bloop single and twisted ankle goes against us between now and late September.

I don't usually have coffee but had some today.

So, I'm strident! Sue me!


allan said...

All backup catchers suck, I know that.

It wouldn't surprise me to see Gabbard go in a deal.

Would Lopez be the odd man out?

When does the roster expand?

September 1.