A message to Joe Maddon:
Make Tim Wakefield a 2009 All-Star.
That’s right, Red Sox Nation—your No. 5 starter deserves the All-Star nod.
Has there been a more consistent pitcher on the Red Sox roster than Wakefield? How many times has he come to the rescue for the Sox when they needed a win or bullpen relief?
When Josh Beckett and Jon Lester were struggling at the beginning of the season, it was Wakefield who picked up the slack.
Go back to the beginning of the season. The Sox were 2-6 and had gone 1-4 on the West Coast road trip. Beckett, Lester, and Dice-K were struggling. The bullpen was running on empty.
Then came the day game in Oakland, which was the last game of the road trip.
Wakefield tossed a complete-game gem. He had a no-hitter going into the seventh inning. After nine innings, he had given up only two earned runs and four hits. That game started an 11-game winning streak.
The Boston knuckler has gone six-plus innings in 11 of his 14 starts this season. Four of those 11 games, Wakefield has gone seven-plus innings. All four starts were in the beginning of the season, when the top of the rotation struggled.
Tim Wakefield is 9-3 with a 4.47 ERA. Sure, those numbers are not sexy, especially the ERA. When you are a knuckleball pitcher, you are at the mercy of the fluttering. ERA is never a concern.
Wakefield's contribution to the Red Sox's record has made him indispensable. Let’s face it, he’s been the team savior.
When Wake has pitched, the Sox are 11-3. His nine wins are second in the American League only to Roy Halladay and Kevin Slowey.
Wakefield will have competition for an All-Star spot. There are the obvious picks like Halladay, Zack Greinke, and even a Justin Verlander. You can throw in a Felix Hernandez and Josh Beckett as well. They all have the great numbers.
Yet, Wakefield has been one of the most consistent pitchers in the American League. Sometimes you need to dive deeper than just the normal stats. Peel the onion back a layer.
If I’m Joe Maddon, I’m making 42-year-old Tim Wakefield an All-Star this season. It would be his first All-Star appearance.
With all the Red Sox records he’s about to break (wins and games started), it would be a wonderful finish to a great career.
I am not making this plea because he’s 42 years old. It’s a plea for someone who has earned an All-Star selection.