Tim Wakefield certainly seems to be enjoying one of those periods where he's largely confounding opposing batters. He held the Milwaukee Brewers to just three hits over eight innings. Normally, this wouldn't lead to three runs, but unfortunately two of those three hits were homers—to Nyjer Morgen and Prince Fielder—and the other hit came just moments before a home run. The latter, however, was practically the definition of a garbage-time home run, as the score was already 11-2 at the time.
Outside of the long balls, however, Wakefield was efficient in shutting down the Brewers' bats, with five 1-2-3 innings across the eight innings of work today, and just one walk to Nyjer Morgan in the fifth. The Brewers were quite confounded with the floating knuckler and the occasional fastball, leading to thirteen swings-and-misses and 6 K's on the day. Not Lester- or Beckett-like domination, but quite impressive if you're a knuckleballer.
Enabling Wakefield's start was what is now becoming a regular showcase of the 2011 Sox: an offensive explosion. Sox bats had fourteen hits on the day, with every Sox starter having at least one hit. Particularly memorable was the first inning, in which the Sox sent eleven men to the plate, and scoring six of them: Jacoby Ellsbury when Adrian Gonzalez reached on an error; Dustin Pedroia and Gonzo when Youkilis homered to left center; and David Ortiz and J. D. Drew when Ellsbury hit a ground-rule double. Yovani Gallardo would stay in the game until the fourth, but his goose was essentially cooked, and he would be pulled without recording an out in the fourth after allowing the Laser Show to homer and Gonzo—Gonzo!!!—to triple. The Boston Bruins' foghorn sound, on loan to the Sox on a day when the Bruins threw out the ceremonial first pitch as a team, was busy early and often, just as it should be.
Spotted the six-run lead after the first, Wakefield ran with it, except for running into trouble in the second, when a double to Casey McGehee was followed by Morgan's home run. Other than that, it was smooth sailing until the aforementioned home run to Fielder. Wakefield did not lose his composure, and instead got the rest of the side out in order.
There was also another one of those "WTF?" moments when Ortiz reached base on an infield hit. It's just the kind of play that should never happen, but inexplicably just does. Call it a Father's Day miracle, if you'd like.
Unfortunately, not all the news on the day was good: Youkilis could be seen visibly limping after his final two at-bats, and Clay Buchholz was placed on the DL. But, at least for this Father's Day, the team elder managed to notch his 183rd win, putting him nine wins away from tying Roger Clemens and the immortal Cy Young for most wins by a Red Sox pitcher.
Up next, a three-game series against San Diego, before embarking on a nine-game road trip at Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Houston.