Can we all please rise and give Tim Wakefield a hand? For what he did yesterday, he deserves more than just a hand. This guy deserves a medal and a spot at the front of the rotation.
I had an article a few months back about who the ace of this rotation is. At the time it wasn't clear at all. Matt Clement was struggling after a hot start, Curt Schilling wasn't starting yet, and no one else really had made an impression at that point. Now I think we know who the ace has been over the last couple of weeks.
Let's analyze what Wakefield did yesterday against a great offense in the New York Yankees:
8 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 12 SO
Can you say, `stud'?
It was a complete game loss. A said thing to say, but it's the truth. While Wakefield pitches masterfully, the offense was laid to rest by Randy Johnson and the Yankees' bullpen. It was bad luck for Wakefield, but I don't think you can complain about his numbers from yesterday.
I don't think I've ever seen Wakefield as consistent as he was yesterday. He was throwing strikes, and making hitters look foolish. Twelve strikeouts? Unheard of. The last time I saw him this consistent was last season against the Tigers went he gave up six home runs. It was a bad consistent, but consistent nonetheless.
When the stretch run comes around Wakefield may be the most important pitcher on the staff. And if he keeps pitching like he did yesterday, than there is no doubt in my mind that he deserves the title of ace.