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.