Knuckleballer Tim Wakefield is the oldest active pitcher at age 45, and is a proven veteran with 199 wins and 18 years of MLB service, but the Boston Red Sox cannot seem to get him to the 200-win milestone that he deserves so badly.
It has been 45 days without a win for Wakefield, and the Red Sox owe him something for letting it go this long. He has appeared in eight games—including seven starts—since his last win.
The bullpen has blown the lead three times after he has left the game, including Tuesday night's 8-5 lead against the Toronto Blue Jays that was choked thanks to an implosion by solid reliever Daniel Bard, who gave up five runs in an inning. Bard was wild and walked three batters in the eighth inning. The Sox eventually lost 11-10.
Wakefield has done just about everything for the Red Sox. He has started for most of his career, but he has also been used out of the bullpen for long and short relief and has even been the closer—with 15 saves in 1999.
The Red Sox need to show Wakefield that they care about his milestone and that they won't blow it for him the next time he starts. This 200th win could help Wakefield make it into the Red Sox Hall of Fame.
Sure, Wakefield has not been an ace over his last eight outings—he has allowed 33 runs (25 earned runs) in 40 innings pitched. This adds up to a 5.625 ERA, which is terrible for a starter these days. His best appearance came in relief on September 2 in a 10-0 defeat against the Texas Rangers. Wakefield went four innings with no runs allowed, three hits and three strikeouts.
Wakefield even has a chance of being the all-tme wins leader in Boston Red Sox franchise history. He has 185 wins with the Sox as of September 8, 2011. He needs seven more victories to tie Cy Young and Roger Clemens who each had 192 wins with the Red Sox. He needs eight or more victories to stand alone in Red Sox history as the all-time leader in wins.
The Boston Red Sox are one of the most-storied franchises in the majors, and having to make Tim Wakefield wait for win 200 for over a month is unacceptable. Please Red Sox, let the eighth time be the charm when Wakefield starts against the Toronto Blue Jays on September 13.