The Baseball Notebook

July 16, 2010 11:36 AM

Wakefield Nears The End

Wakefield.jpgFor Red Sox Nation, Tim Wakefield has a special status. He's been with the team since 1995. He's long been a reliable innings-eater at the back of the rotation. In Game 3 of the 2004 ALCS, the game his team was battered by the Yankees 19-8, his offer to give up his Game 4 start and help out in relief is considered by fans an indispensable reason the Red Sox had the arms necessary to win extra-inning marathons the next two nights and start the run to their historic championship. As a Sox fan myself, it's without pleasure and with no malice to say that last night marked the latest reason why I believe the knuckleballer's run is finally over.

Texas battered Wakefield early and often, ringing up six runs in the second and adding another in the third, an inning that would have been worse if not for long reliever Robert Manuel bailing out the starter from a second and third, no outs jam. With Boston's rotation in tatters due to injury, the Sox are likely better off giving the available work to youngsters like Felix Doubront, who gets the ball tonight. Either the kids will pitch well or at the very least gain experience. But Boston's out of room to let the veteran knuckleballer try and get on track, as he sits on a 3-8 record with a bloated 5.65 ERA.


The Twins are another team that hung an early six-pack on the board. But Minnesota was already in a 4-0 hole when their outburst came. And White Sox starter John Danks did what his counterpart Kevin Slowey was unable to do--he settled down and pitched scoreless ball through the middle frames. It gave Chicago the breathing room to regain the lead and win 8-7. It was all part of a bad day for Ron Gardenhire, who found out before the game that Justin Morneau is hitting the DL for his concussion problems.

Mike Scoscia's Angels got the second half off to a strong start, as they beat up Seattle's Doug Fister, peppering him for twelve hits and six runs. At the top of the order, Bobby Abreu and Erick Aybar got three hits apiece, while Joel Piniero kept Seattle in check, save for a bases-clearing double by Ichiro, as the Halos won 8-3.

One contender doesn't have a problem coming up aces. San Francisco gave the ball to Tim Lincecum and he outdueled R.A. Dickey as the Giants beat the Mets 2-0. The complete game shutout was Lincecum's tenth win of the season and spoiled Carlos Beltran's return to the lineup for New York.

Trade Talk...

Andrew Marchand, writing for ESPNNY, says that time is running out for Joba Chamberlain, as the trade deadline nears. Chamberlain's is pitching poorly in the setup role, and as good as the Yankees are, it's very tough to survive the postseason without reliable men in front of the closer. New York's got real problems here and won't sit quietly by. The downside is that a trade of prospects for veteran middle relievers that are often journeyman have bad long-term effects. But worrying about the long-term is never something that's preoccupied the Yankee front office. It would seem the main question is going to be what veteran reliever will come to the Bronx.

Image courtesy of NBC Sports Media.

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