Wakefield's Knuckies Sting Rays
Six no-hit innings, eight shutout innings....quite a job by Tim Wakefield as he led his Boston Red Sox to a 3-0 whitewashing of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. From the time he started his warmups, something special was in the air, as the ball was moving and dancing. Said his manager Terry Francona.........
"[Wakefield] has been a blessing," Francona said. "I think it goes under the radar sometimes, because of the way he pitches. I hope it doesn't. He's been phenomenal ... and he's not done."
Peter here, and he wasn't under the radar last night, that's for sure! His line reads like this-eight innings pitched, no runs, two (!!) hits and 6 strikeouts. Carl Crawford's ground ball single starting off the 7th inning was the first hit that Wakes gave up, and the crowd rose and showed him their appreciation. Paps came on to record his 28th save with a 20 pitch ninth. And with Kazmir going against Lester today, it was a must win. But right now they ALL seem like must wins, what with the Yankees breathing down our necks and still refusing to lose. They scored a run in the bottom of the ninth to beat the visiting Orioles, and remain 4 games back.
I have a treat for you, my faithful readers. Click on the title of this post for the Boston Globe's Nick Carfado's article on why the Sox won't lose the lead in the AL East. Here's a taste.....
"If you're going to make a case for why the Red Sox will not lose their lead in the AL East, it was precisely what we saw last night: Their starting pitching is too good."
Peter here, and Nick, I hope you're right. There is a big four game series coming up with the mighty (right now, they are!) LA Angels, and every game from here on out is so important. Today my hopes rest with Jon Lester, who hasn't had a good outing since he came up to the big club. And facing a team like the Devil Rays, this surely is the night for it. If he struggles against THEM, well, we'll reserve judgement until this time tomorrow. Enjoy your Tuesday, and click on that title for a really great article.