Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Detroit Knuckles Under...Red Sox 5 Tigers 0

When Tim Wakefield pitches the way he did on Tuesday night in the Motor City, it's a thing of beauty and so much fun to watch. He kept pounding the strike zone, walking NOBODY, and threw 98 pitches in his eight full innings of work. Mike Timlin mopped up in the ninth and was just fine. Wakes made a mechanical adjustment with his feet before the game and mixed in many more fastballs. The mix change was suggested by heavy hitting personal catcher Kevin Cash, who has been a tremendous surprise at the plate. Here's what Wakefield and his catcher had to say after the game...

“I switched my mechanics from the last two starts, where my knuckleball was good I was kind of all over the place,” he said. “I got more in line with my stride toward the plate. I’m kind of open a little bit so my arm can come down toward the plate, but I think I was too open. I just felt like I was all over the place, looking at the tapes and looking at the feet marks, where they were pointing the wrong way.”
With Wakefield adjusted, the next step was integrating more than 20 fastballs and curves, a number typically higher than what the knuckleballer was used to throwing. The thinking, which was relayed by Cash before the game, was to stay in favorable counts.
“There were more fastballs and curveballs than he has thrown this year, no doubt,” Cash said. “And it’s kind of my job just to put the signals down. If he doesn’t want to throw it, then just shake it off. It gets him back in the count quickly. How many fastballs did they swing at? Two or three, the rests were taken and it gets him back in the count.”

Peter here, and I know that excerpt from the Boston Globe was a bit long, but this may be the start of a Wakefield hot streak, and with the way the Red Sox are going right now, that would be HUGE. Get their last 10 games, which represents two turns through the rotation, Sox starters have allowed just 19 earned runs in 88 innings, an earned run average of 1.94. NOT BAD! Those kind of numbers win World Championships.

On the offensive side, there was Manny with home run number 497. I hope he can hit his magic number 500 at home at the Fens. Big Papi also tatered and Kevin Cash chipped in with three hits. One thing's for sure - KC is quite an improvement at the plate compared to his predecessor. Again, the Red Sox were in double figures in hits, and they've been playing great ball in every facet of the game. It doesn't hurt that Detroit hasn't gotten untracked yet this year. They'll get hot sooner or later...let's hope it's later!

Tonight it will be Buchholz against Galarraga again in Detroit, and a win would set up a possible Sox sweep with Beckett going tomorrow. But one game at a time, Peter. I hope you enjoyed last night's game, for it was fun to watch. Have a wonderful Wednesday Hump Day as we start the slide into the weekend. Click on this post's title for all about last night's fifth victory in a row for the "good guys." And that's us! As always, be well.


At 5/07/2008 11:14 AM, Blogger gingerly said...

You're right, Peter. That game was a joy to watch. Wake was amazing. I kept expecting him to fall apart, but he never did. With Manny and Papi and Cash all joining the party, the game could hardly have been better. Can't wait to see how Buchholz does tonight.

At 5/07/2008 11:16 AM, Blogger Bosox Fan in Wichita said...

Detroit got untracked with that sweet sweep at Yankee Stadium scoring 20 runs. It's just that they've fallen into a little bit of a slump and our pitchers have done a great job of keeping them there. It was interesting to read about Timmay's adjustment with his mechanics; especially with the improved results!

At 5/07/2008 11:22 AM, Blogger Rooster said...

Funny thing - MLB gameday lists pretty much every pitch Wakefield threw as a knucklball - dopes!

It is good fortune when you hit a good team that is in a slump - take advantage! Good solid game last night, but we'll be facing a very good pitcher tonight - patience will be key.

At 5/07/2008 12:36 PM, Blogger Peter N said...

In reverse order, hello Rooster. They (Deetroit) will be facing a very tough pitcher too! OUR GUY!

BFW, it might be that the team from the Bronx has a few holes in their rotation, almost like craters on the atmosphere-free Moon. That's where the new Yankee Stadium should have been built.

And Keith, when he's on like that, I just plain old KNOW it by the end of the 2nd. Wakes was UNHITTABLE. I like it like that! So do you!!!!! much fun is this? Peter

At 5/07/2008 12:41 PM, Blogger gingerly said...

What's really fun about the Red Sox/Yankees situation right now is how all their young players are bombing out, while ours are doing incredibly well. My best nights (like last night) are when we win and they lose. Life could not be better.


At 5/07/2008 1:07 PM, Blogger Rooster said...

Keith- quick - knock on wood! That sounds like a jinx if I ever heard one. Everyone - knock on wood!

(phew that was close)

At 5/07/2008 1:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also hope that Manny's #500 is at Fenway and agree with you about KC!

At 5/07/2008 4:14 PM, Blogger Peter N said...

Me too, Keith.
Rooster, I knocked on my head. Will that work??
Thanks SC.

At 5/07/2008 4:49 PM, Blogger Peter N said...

I was on the phone when I left that last comment...sorry for the brevity. Joba rules? Rules what??????????? Thanks Rooster, Keith and SC. Enjoy Mr. Buchholz tonight.


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