How worried should we be about Tim Wakefield?
Or is that not the right question?
How worried should we be about Josh Bard catching Wakefield?
Whether you are on one side believing Bard was the problem last night, or if you are on the other side and think Wakefield just wasn't hitting his spots, we've still got a semi-major problem on our hands.
Thanks to the wide world of stats, we know Wakefield has struggled in Texas against the Rangers. We knew that going in, and we knew what could happen because of that. Personally, I never let that stuff affect my thought process because every day it's a different team, lineup, and weather condition; all important factors in my eyes.
There were three passed balls last night that Doug Mirabelli probably would have snagged without a blinking of an eye. Knowing Mirabelli's abilities, that is probably the truth without any stretch of the imagination.
At least Bard didn't pull an Alex Gardner. Gardner received one start for the Washington Nationals in 1884. In that game he had six passed balls and he never saw the light of day again for any professional baseball team.
Those passed balls are to Bard's credit, but I'm still worried about Wakefield. He was getting hit last night, and he was getting hit hard. There is something very wrong when a knuckleballer only sees 3.2 innings of work in a game.
He also wasn't hitting his spots. And sure, he's throws a knuckleball and no one ever knows where that'll end up (just ask Bard), but he was missing with his curveball and his fastball, too. And when your knuckleball and your other pitches aren't working, it's hard to put together a solid game - especially if you're facing an offense like the Rangers.
At what point do we scrape a struggler like Wakefield and put someone in the rotation like Lenny DiNardo or Jonathan Papelbon? Will we ever push aside Wakefield? How many more poor starts like this?