Flutterpitch: Jays-Sox Gamer IX

Tim Wakefield has had an interesting and unique career with the Red Sox. He’s worked as a starter, middle reliever and closer. He’s been a Cy Young candidate (1995) and anything but (2000). He’s been a playoff goat, albeit an unfair one (2003), and a playoff hero, albeit an unsung one (2004). He’s thrown a number of bizarre games that I’d love to tell you more about, but the Baseball-Reference database is broken. For good measure, he’s climbing up the all-time leaderboard for victories as a member of the Red Sox.

This year, it’s been more of the same from the ageless wonder. His ERA is below league average, but he’s lost nearly as many games as he’s won. He’s received a decision in all 17 of his starts. As usual, he’s received the lowest run support of any of the team’s starters, but he has nine wins to show for nine quality starts, so for once, his record is exactly accurate.

Tonight, he goes against Roy Halladay, AL Pitcher of the Month for April, walking gasoline can for the rest of the season. Figure this: His ERA’s higher than Wakefield’s. He’s 10-3. Halladay hasn’t thrown a quality start in three outings, but is 5-1 in the six starts since he got toasted by Tampa Bay for eight runs and 12 hits in 3.1 innings.

The Sox can accomplish several things with this opening series of the second half — put the nail in the coffin of a potential division challenger and calm all our fears about a sorry ending to the first half. Let’s hope Crazy Tim and His Dancing Ball start it off right.

Comment away!

117 comments… add one
  • I should mention that Wakefield defeated Halady 8-0 the last time these clubs met, and he’s 2-1 against the Jays this season. Halladay is 1-1 against the Sox.
    According to Francona, Ortiz has not undergone an MRI on his knee, and Youkilis is back and healthy. With Lugo and Drew both looking hot, this is not a bad lineup anymore.
    1. J.D. Drew, RF
    2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
    3. David Ortiz, DH
    4. Manny Ramirez, LF
    5. Kevin Youkilis, 1B
    6. Mike Lowell, 3B
    7. Coco Crisp, CF
    8. Doug Mirabelli, C
    9. Julio Lugo, SS
    SP — Tim Wakefield
    1. Vernon Wells, CF
    2. Matt Stairs, LF
    3. Alex Rios, RF
    4. Frank Thomas, DH
    5. Troy Glaus, 3B
    6. Lyle Overbay, 1B
    7. Aaron Hill, 2B
    8. Gregg Zaun, C
    9. John McDonald, SS
    SP — Roy Halladay

    Paul SF July 12, 2007, 7:00 pm
  • Wells scores on a Sacfly. Jays 1-0

    Rob July 12, 2007, 7:16 pm
  • Glaus grounds out to end the inning. Let’s see how the offense comes out to start the second half.

    Rob July 12, 2007, 7:18 pm
  • Hate giving up the first-inning runs, but considering Wells singled on the second pitch of the game and the Jays had second-third with one out, I’ll take the one run any time.
    Hope Wake settles it down though.

    Paul SF July 12, 2007, 7:19 pm
  • Good start — Drew with the single.

    Paul SF July 12, 2007, 7:19 pm
  • Drew singles to start it off.

    Rob July 12, 2007, 7:19 pm
  • Awesome AB by Pedroia. Draws the 10 pitch walk.
    Let’s go Papi!!

    Rob July 12, 2007, 7:24 pm
  • I don’t know many rookies who could do that — get to 0-2 on the first two pitches, then take a TEN-pitch walk off one of the game’s best pitchers. Pedroia is just incredibly poised for a fiurst-year player.

    Paul SF July 12, 2007, 7:24 pm
  • All right Papi! Still no power, but a tie game and 1/3 with no outs for Manny!

    Paul SF July 12, 2007, 7:25 pm
  • Papi with an RBI

    Rob July 12, 2007, 7:26 pm
  • Please Manny.

    Rob July 12, 2007, 7:26 pm
  • Manny and Ortiz are 2nd half clutch

    NeffSox July 12, 2007, 7:28 pm
  • Manny with the double! I’m liking this start to the second half.

    Paul SF July 12, 2007, 7:28 pm
  • i like this lineup…….through the first inning.

    sf rod July 12, 2007, 7:28 pm
  • Wow, Manny with an RBI, back to back production from Manny and Ortiz to start the game.

    Rob July 12, 2007, 7:29 pm
  • Eh, I’ll take it. Was hoping for a bit more from Youk. Now it’s the team leader in RBI with a runner on third.

    Paul SF July 12, 2007, 7:31 pm
  • Youk drives in Papi. No need to let up on Halladay.

    Rob July 12, 2007, 7:31 pm
  • “i like this lineup…….through the first inning.”
    I like it too, especially if those first 7 are up in the same inning everytime!

    Ayuh - SF July 12, 2007, 7:33 pm
  • Talk about your clutch hitting. The first four batters of the ballgame reach base — and ALL of them score with just one out recorded. Nice indeed.

    Paul SF July 12, 2007, 7:33 pm
  • Heh heh, this is fun.

    Devine July 12, 2007, 7:34 pm
  • Hey Dougie — let’s try for the meaningful home run this time!

    Paul SF July 12, 2007, 7:34 pm
  • halladay does not look sharp tonite. that pedrioa AB might have rattled the cage abit.

    sf rod July 12, 2007, 7:36 pm
  • Roy Halladay just walked Doug Mirabelli. If that doesn’t signify something’s wrong with him, nothing will.

    Paul SF July 12, 2007, 7:36 pm
  • Nice start, all of that done on 37 pitches from Halladay. Hopefully we can keep the momentum.

    Rob July 12, 2007, 7:38 pm
  • Yeah, Rod, that AB was a seriously clutch AB. Drives up the pitch count, puts a runner in scoring position with none out… Pedroia should be the frontrunner for ROY if not for Okajima.

    Paul SF July 12, 2007, 7:38 pm
  • lugo poised to get on track for the second half. good things happen ….when you bat around.

    sf rod July 12, 2007, 7:38 pm
  • Weird final out, seems like Crisp would be fast enough. Still, Halladay threw about a billion pitches in the first inning and the Sox scored 4, so that part is very cool.

    Devine July 12, 2007, 7:40 pm
  • Interesting — Lugo given credit for a single on a 6-2 forceout of Crisp. Why?

    Paul SF July 12, 2007, 7:40 pm
  • agreed paul. it’s funny how dustin gets slighted for being slight. it’s almost like he’s amish. he has to do everything twice as hard.

    sf rod July 12, 2007, 7:41 pm
  • Welll, the inlaws are coming in this weekend and the wife has to work, so it’s up to me to clean the house. Glad the Sox built a nice lead to send me off with.
    Go team go!

    Paul SF July 12, 2007, 7:41 pm
  • There was a bobble by McDonald. It seemed strange they got Crisp; I don’t think they had a chance at Lugo, but I would’ve thought error. I’m guessing it was only a hit because there was an out (the irony).

    Devine July 12, 2007, 7:42 pm
  • devine- coco got nailed diving back to the bag after rounding third. it looked like mc donald was gonna still throw to first after bobble.

    sf rod July 12, 2007, 7:42 pm
  • Wondered. Thanks, rod. Mistakes like that burn me up, though 4-run innings are a decent balm.

    Devine July 12, 2007, 7:45 pm
  • Nice inning. If Lugo REALLY turns it around… well… Yay!
    Sorry I havent been around, my computer is toast and posting via Wii – as I am doing now – takes FOREVER

    Dionysus July 12, 2007, 7:45 pm
  • Hey Dio, how you like the Wii? I like it, but there’s very few games out there that are that intriguing (I’ve bought Zelda and Trauma Center to go with Wii Sports, but that’s all), but with Metroid and Mario later this year, I’m excited.
    Second inning scoreless for Wakefield.

    Devine July 12, 2007, 7:48 pm
  • I love it. Got it on Launch Day. Fun experience.
    Try Super Paper Mario. WONDERFUL game. Pure fun. Other than that… Theres the VC to tide me over

    Dionysus July 12, 2007, 7:52 pm
  • 10-pitch walk JD Drew! They’re all about the 10-pitch walks today.

    Devine July 12, 2007, 7:52 pm
  • the wii is dangerous. i’ve downloaded excitebike, elevator action, ninja guidan, super mario 1 and 2, mario cart, castlevania, and kid icarus all in the last 3 days due to no basball. it’s getting expensive.

    sf rod July 12, 2007, 7:53 pm
  • welcome back dio.
    the wii is dangerous. i’ve downloaded excitebike, elevator action, ninja guidan, super mario 1 and 2, mario cart, castlevania, and kid icarus all in the last 3 days due to no basball. it’s getting expensive.

    sf rod July 12, 2007, 7:54 pm
  • Halladay looking rough tonight.

    Rob July 12, 2007, 7:55 pm
  • I have been thinking about that, Dio. Haven’t played The Thousand Year Door for Gamecube. You played that?
    I got it on launch day as well. Up at 4:30 in the morning to go to Best Buy right by work and chat with fellow gamers for several hours while waiting. Good stuff.
    Pedroia out, Ortiz singles, 1st and 3rd, 1 out.

    Devine July 12, 2007, 7:55 pm
  • ill sorry.

    sf rod July 12, 2007, 7:55 pm
  • Yeah, rod. I started doing some of that online purchasing with the 360 and stopped after the first evening because it was starting to rack up. I will eventually make my first virtual console purchase, though.
    Manny takes a tumble on a pitch up and in. 1-1 count. Then a sac fly to the track at right-center and Drew scores. 5-1.

    Devine July 12, 2007, 7:57 pm
  • both jeter and a-rod homer to go up 2-1 on the d-rays. the yf game thread is kinda funny.

    sf rod July 12, 2007, 8:02 pm
  • I don’t understand why the Wii baseball only allows a three-inning ballgame? It’s ridiculously hard to get a hit, which I suppose is good in that it’s realistic, but why only 3 innings?

    Paul SF July 12, 2007, 8:04 pm
  • Wow, Wakefield looks like he might be in for a rough inning as Wells singles, but a lineout-DP and strikeout later, and we’re back the Sox hit parade.

    Paul SF July 12, 2007, 8:07 pm
  • Maybe they were worried about people killing their arms? (I know I was sore playing it the first few days.)
    Scoreless 3rd Wakefield.

    Devine July 12, 2007, 8:08 pm
  • Wish I could edit comments…I hereby add to the Wii discussion portion of the evening: they should’ve given you an option for the number of innings you wanted to play.

    Devine July 12, 2007, 8:09 pm
  • Call BS on that strikeout of Coco (outside).

    Devine July 12, 2007, 8:10 pm
  • Lugo back over .200, 2 for 2 tonight.

    Paul SF July 12, 2007, 8:12 pm
  • Halladay up to 82 pitches after three innings. The Sox with the heart of the order could assure he’s gone after the fourth, thus wearing out the Jays’ pen in the first game of the series. This would be nice.

    Paul SF July 12, 2007, 8:14 pm
  • I’ve become a Wii Baseball Master. I cant wait till next year and an actual full-fledge 2k8 baseball sim.
    My launch day experience was awesome. I showed up an an ungodly hour of the mornign and got in line at the local Wal-Mart (I was like.. 5th I think). Then after a bit I called my one non-nintendo fan friend and convicned him to hold my line for a few hours. AT that point I went to my shift at the local Borders Cafe to open the cafe. I then pretended to be sick, but acted as if I wanted to ‘tough it out’ for two hours at which point after “vomiting” a few times in the bathroom I asked to go home. At that point I returned and settled into line.
    For those who chose to wai tat a BestBuy.. I pity you. At Wal-Mart they put us up INSIDE in the Garden Center. Food from their grocery and McDs (mostly iced coffee from theat) sustained us. Once my friend who was getting a Wii and his GF arrioved, I had her hold my place – not that it was neeeded.. everyone was nice and friendly – and got permission from the store manager to go get a TV and my gamecube and hook it up to Walmarts power. So began Super Smash Bros Melee fun!
    Eventually people got another TV and there was Smash in one spot and Guitar Hero in another. It was a regular party. One can only wonder what the normal shoppers thought was going on.
    After getting my Wii my friend, his GF and I retired to my place.. checking in around 100am.. and played Wii Sports till we utterly collapsed at 730am.
    Remember kids, Wal-Mart beats Best Buy on Launch Days.

    Dionysus July 12, 2007, 8:16 pm
  • Meanwhile, Tampa threatens with the bases loaded vs. Pettitte…

    Paul SF July 12, 2007, 8:16 pm
  • Mannyyyyyy! Assist from left field, throwing out Frank Thomas at 2nd. Quick release, great throw.

    Devine July 12, 2007, 8:18 pm
  • For all the flak Wal-Mart gets, they are surprisingly good to their customers and give a great deal of flexibility to their local store managers in terms of customer- and media-relations than other chain retailers do. I know there’s lots more to the story than that, but they’re vilified as Satan incarnate when in fact they seem to be very smart at working with their customers and local media.

    Paul SF July 12, 2007, 8:19 pm
  • Thanks to Manny, a 1-2-3 4th for Wakefield, who seems to have settled in nicely. Lots of popups.

    Paul SF July 12, 2007, 8:21 pm
  • Heh, Dio. I’ll keep it in mind for next time. It WAS a bit cold.
    I’m pretty good at Wii Baseball (my skill is now over 2300…or is it 2400?…rather high anyway).
    I effing LOVE Guitar Hero. Been playing it for months now. Got to the hardest section of songs on Hard difficulty…now trying to improve my earlier scores before tackling them again (they kicked my butt when I attempted most of them).

    Devine July 12, 2007, 8:22 pm
  • I play Guitar Hero with friends and I’m mediocre at the easy songs — strangely, even worse on the songs I know, probably because I’m so used to air guitaring those songs it messes me up to actually have a guitar in my hands :-P. I saw a friend do pretty well on the moderate, and I couldn’t imagine it. The Hard ones loook ridiculous…

    Paul SF July 12, 2007, 8:26 pm
  • I’ve nevewr played GH. I was all about the SMash that night. Dio LOVE Smash.
    Halladay may have settlled a bit. Hopefully our lead holds and we can get his PC to a point where we can chase him.
    OK.. this Wii posting is killing me. Too hard. I shall lurk erxcept for important comments

    Dionysus July 12, 2007, 8:26 pm
  • Well, I hard the good ones need 85 pitches or so to settle down ;-)

    Paul SF July 12, 2007, 8:29 pm
  • It’s all about the gradual improvement, Paul. It’s taken me about four months of an hour or two a night playing to get good (or at least effective) at Hard. It’s one of the best things about the game, actually, how it rewards dedication, and how you can really feel yourself improving. I used to think the Medium songs were as tough as could be. The euphoria from getting a tough section right is pretty much unmatched (sex and Red Sox walk-off home runs may outrun the Guitar Hero euphoria…but it’s close).

    Devine July 12, 2007, 8:29 pm
  • That’s four months starting on Medium and very eventually moving to Hard about a month, month and a half ago.
    I don’t think I would’ve started playing Hard, except that my girlfriend (who I’m proposing to next weekend…shhhhhhhh) is better than me (she’s now almost through Expert difficulty), and I couldn’t let her completely leave me behind.

    Devine July 12, 2007, 8:31 pm
  • The Jays have gotten the leadoff man on in four of five innings: One scored, one was erased, one was thrown out trying to stretch, and Aaron Hill just went to second on a WP.

    Paul SF July 12, 2007, 8:32 pm
  • Yeah, there’s no way a girl should be better than a guy at mastering metal licks — unless she’s in Evanescence, Kittie or Flyleaf (or Veruca Salt for you old altrock fans).
    Congrats in advance, Devine! What’s your plan?

    Paul SF July 12, 2007, 8:34 pm
  • Wild pitch-groundout-sac fly, and it’s 5-2 Sox. 2 out, none on.

    Devine July 12, 2007, 8:35 pm
  • Hill scores on the sac fly. 5-2 in the fifth.

    Paul SF July 12, 2007, 8:35 pm
  • Thanks, Paul! How’d you propose?
    Weeeellll…we met over the last Harry Potter book (essentially) and I’m doing it the weekend the last book comes out (a bunch of her friends and I rented a house in the country to all read it together). I’m not sure whether to do it early (before the book, which might affect her reading, which I wouldn’t want) or late (after which Harry might be dead–though I don’t think so–so it might not be great timing, either). I’m just gonna feel it out, have the ring on me all the time, wait till I feel it’s the right time, then do it.

    Devine July 12, 2007, 8:37 pm
  • Its rather spectacular how much the D-Rays suck

    Dionysus July 12, 2007, 8:38 pm
  • Good thing we’re playing them 15 more times…

    Devine July 12, 2007, 8:45 pm
  • Good God, it’s a game again, dammit, after Matt Stairs homers. 5-3.

    Devine July 12, 2007, 8:46 pm
  • 5-4 now.
    I’m gonna go vomit.

    Dionysus July 12, 2007, 8:47 pm
  • Ahem, 5-4 on Rios homer. 0 outs. Think it might be time to get Wakefield outta there?

    Devine July 12, 2007, 8:47 pm
  • Ugh, back to back and it’s 5-4.
    Devine, I did it the old fashioed way. Found a bridge over a lake after we had dinner and sprung it on her. She says she knew it was coming — I guess I acted too nervous.

    Paul SF July 12, 2007, 8:48 pm
  • Ok, get Delcarmen out there.

    Paul SF July 12, 2007, 8:49 pm
  • Is a nice easy rout too much to ask for in the first game after the break?

    Paul SF July 12, 2007, 8:50 pm
  • Apparently so, Paul.

    Dionysus July 12, 2007, 8:53 pm
  • Stays 5-4 after the Blue Jays’ 6th. I hope it’s someone else pitching next inning, though. More importantly…more runs!
    That’s cool, Paul. I wonder if my girl has any suspicions or anything (she’s yet to notice–or at least say out loud–that her antique ring is missing…I “borrowed” it and had a diamond put in the middle after questioning her sister a bit on what she wanted ring-wise).

    Devine July 12, 2007, 8:53 pm
  • Just hit it out before I go home, Papi. Please?

    Devine July 12, 2007, 9:00 pm
  • Close! Deep center double, and Pedroia scores! That’s a bit better, 6-4, man on 2nd for Manny with 2 out.

    Devine July 12, 2007, 9:03 pm
  • Big Papi 2: Return to Clutch

    Paul SF July 12, 2007, 9:03 pm
  • Headed home…might see y’all later. If not, good night and go Sox!

    Devine July 12, 2007, 9:03 pm
  • That’s the best, Devine. An adoptive great aunt of mine (friend of my grandmothers), gave me her old engagement ring. I was going to have the stone reset, but everyone said it was too valuable the way it was, and my wife loves it. She gets compliments on it all the time.

    Paul SF July 12, 2007, 9:05 pm
  • See ya Devine.

    Paul SF July 12, 2007, 9:05 pm
  • Manny! Single scores Papi, and it’s back to a three-run lead…

    Paul SF July 12, 2007, 9:06 pm
  • 5 RBIs out of Papi and Manny tonight. Finally some kind of production again.

    Rob July 12, 2007, 9:14 pm
  • Yankees are leading 6-3 after 6. Pettite, despite only giving up 3 runs didn’t seem to have a ‘bounce back’ from my reading. He still gave up 6 hits and a walk and only lasted 5 and 2/3, plus its the D-Rays.

    Dionysus July 12, 2007, 9:15 pm
  • Good times. If every 7th inning could be like that ….

    josh59x July 12, 2007, 9:20 pm
  • Can we nominate Youkilis for a Gold Glove yet?

    Dionysus July 12, 2007, 9:20 pm
  • Coco hit it well.. just slightly in the wrong location.
    He’s certainyl comign around though.

    Dionysus July 12, 2007, 9:24 pm
  • Gibbons is totally tossed.

    josh59x July 12, 2007, 9:27 pm
  • Or not. But he tried.

    josh59x July 12, 2007, 9:28 pm
  • Why was Gibbons tossed? GameDay says he was.

    Paul SF July 12, 2007, 9:39 pm
  • I hate Alex Rios

    Dionysus July 12, 2007, 9:43 pm
  • The Jays’ lineup should be a LOT better than it is… Wells-Stairs/Johnson-Rios-Thomas-Glaus-Overbay? That’s killer.

    Paul SF July 12, 2007, 9:44 pm
  • Oki with a terrible 0-2 pitch to Glaus, singles to left. 1/3, tying run at the plate. I walked in at just the wrong time…

    SF July 12, 2007, 9:47 pm
  • ALot of things about the Jays should be far better than they are.
    Whew. Rios doesnt score on the base hit.
    Com on Oky. Get out of this. You’ve looked a little shaky tonight.

    Dionysus July 12, 2007, 9:47 pm
  • And Paul, cut it out with the tempting fate shit.

    SF July 12, 2007, 9:47 pm
  • 0-2 to Overbay. NO HANGERS.

    SF July 12, 2007, 9:48 pm
  • GOT HIM!
    Man.. Oki must have liquid nitrogen in his veins

    Dionysus July 12, 2007, 9:50 pm
  • See, it’s a new half, SF! You heard it here: 75-0 from the break on!

    Paul SF July 12, 2007, 9:51 pm
  • I have noticed that Oki’s scary innings seem to be coming more and more frequently. I’m thinking it’s more luck than anything that he hasn’t regressed more than he has. Not that I’m complaining…

    Paul SF July 12, 2007, 9:52 pm
  • 75-0 from the break on!
    Uh, ok, Murray.

    SF July 12, 2007, 9:52 pm
  • Oki’s bound to have an inning where he can’t get a soul out, where he throws like 1/3, gives up 4ER, sh*ts the bed, if not a couple outings like this. He just can’t be expected to be SO good, it’s not realistic. And that means that there are going to be a couple of games, at least, where we are going to be really, really angry.

    SF July 12, 2007, 9:54 pm
  • lol.
    Once again, my impression are completely wrong. Okajima went six consecutive outings without allowing a baserunner before walking two in 2.1 innings against Detroit. So Okajima actually has actually now just allowed two hits and two walks in his last 8.1 IP.
    Uh oh. Who’s injured?

    Paul SF July 12, 2007, 9:55 pm
  • Scott Downs. Pedroia hit a rocket off his leg

    Dionysus July 12, 2007, 9:56 pm
  • And.. now.. Papi.
    Oh CRAP

    Dionysus July 12, 2007, 9:57 pm
  • Fouled a ball off David’s bad knee.
    Crappity crap crap.

    Dionysus July 12, 2007, 9:58 pm
  • In fact, since giving up the game-tying run to the Yanks more than a month ago, Okajima’s gone 16 consecutive scoreless innings, allowing 10 hits and five walks. So yeah, WHIP under 1, ERA of zero in 14 games. Never mind.

    Paul SF July 12, 2007, 9:58 pm
  • It’s a small sample size, but it looks like “MannyOrtez” is back in effect…
    Paps in.

    Hudson July 12, 2007, 10:03 pm
  • By the way.. Buchholz makes his AAA debut on Monday. Excitement!

    Anonymous July 12, 2007, 10:08 pm
  • Orioles trying to mount an amazing comeback comeback. Down 9-2 in the 9th to the White Sox, teh Os have scored 5 runs so far. 2 outs with a man on first.

    Anonymous July 12, 2007, 10:11 pm
  • Woohoo! Good start to the second half.

    SF July 12, 2007, 10:12 pm
  • Game over, Zaun’s double harmless… Good to see the offense clicking tonight.

    Hudson July 12, 2007, 10:13 pm
  • Os comeback falls 2 runs short of tying it.
    Such a sad club. They have a gorgous park in a GREAT location and Kevin on their team. If only their owners would spe3nd the cash to make them contenders.. that city deserves it.
    Sox win the first game back from the break! Yay!

    Anonymous July 12, 2007, 10:14 pm
  • Game!

    Devine July 12, 2007, 10:14 pm
  • Those blanks were me by the way

    Dionysus July 12, 2007, 10:15 pm
  • Heh…Dio, don’t you remember, the O’s threw $40MM into their bullpen–ahem, garbage can–over the offseason. Worked out really well for them, too, as their 5.10 bullpen ERA to this point ranks 28th in the majors. Last year, their pen’s ERA was at 5.25, and they ranked 29th. Baby steps.
    PS: The O’s payroll is at $93MM, per USA Today. 10th in baseball, and more then Toronto; they’re also within $3MM of Detroit and $6MM of the Cubs. I feel bad for their fans…but that has got to be the worst run big(ish) market team in the game. (Although the Mariners are over $100MM and they’ve been awful for a long time…and I’m also fairly convinced they’re due for a nose dive in the second half. Their 3.40 bullpen ERA is their only remarkable statistic…their rotation has been garbage and their offense has only scored 16 more runs then they’ve allowed. High batting average, though; third in the game. Just awful on-base skills and not enough pop to make up for it.)

    desturbd1 July 13, 2007, 3:01 am

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