Sixty five million years ago, some dinosaurs sat around a campfire making s'mores. Then, one dinosaur, Grunk he was called, checked one of his smartphones -- the one with predicting technology -- and saw that one day, sixty-five million years in the future, Tim Wakefield would win his 200th game. Grunk shrugged, mumbled something about pitcher wins being an inexact way to determine performance, and went back to his s'mores. Then a meteor struck killing everyone.
Timmah! finally did it. Of course we'll have continuing coverage of this great Red Sox event here at OTM so don't change that channel.
Wakefield has been a great Red Sock, a good pitcher for an amazingly long time and the consummate teammate and ambassador to the community. This picture says a lot. Papelbon is young enough to be Wakefield's kid. Congratulations to Tim Wakefield! In that vein, Alex Speier of WEEI.com looks back at the confluence of events that ended with Tim Wakefield pitching for the Boston Red Sox.
There are numerous reasons that fans love Wake. One of them is relatability. Getting major league hitters out is very difficult no matter how you do it, but throwing a knuckleball, while not any easier than a pinpoint 92 mph fastball, looks like it is. Another reason we all love Wake is, on a team of stars, he's an everyman. His reaction to the fans and his teammates reaction to his 200th win is a prime example, and illustrates that he appreciates what he has and can be humble and thankful for it.
In other non-Wakefield news, [ding ding ding!] The Rays Are Coming! The Rays Are Coming! R.J. Anderson of Baseball Prospectus looks at the Rays chances to pull off the comeback and catch the Sox [free!]. The article was published on Tuesday so things may have quieted a bit on this front now as the Sox win and Rays loss Tuesday night pushed Tampa's deficit back to four games with fifteen remaining for each team. In fact, the Red Sox are equidistant from the Yankees and Rays so you can apply that 'it'll be pretty hard to do but it's possible for Team X to catch Team Y" to Boston catching New York as well. Losing nine out of eleven will do that to you.
Courtesy of The Providence Journal, the Red Sox got injury news today, some bad some good. You want the bad first? OK, here goes.
The bad news:
David Ortiz had back spasms and was pulled from the game in the first inning. No word on whether he'll miss today's game, but my guess, and it's only a guess, is with it being a day game after a night game, the Sox will give Ortiz a pass and hope to have him ready for the weekend series against the Rays.
Kevin Youkilis will fight through the pain for the remainder of the year, but he'll need hernia surgery once the season ends. Youk is one tough hombre.
- During the course of testing, doctors discovered a pulmonary embolism [via RedSox.com] in reliever Bobby Jenks. A pulmonary embolism is essentially a blood clot blocking the pulmonary artery leading to the lungs. I'm not a doctor and I don't even play one on the internets, but that sounds bad. Fortunately the doctors found it. Terry Francona said Jenks is now on the proper medication to take care of the problem. No word on what this means for Jenks' pitching going forward, but I don't think anyone in their right mind was expecting Jenks to throw another pitch this season.
The good news:
- The Red Sox will get Josh Beckett back. Beckett will likely pitch on Friday against Tampa. Hopefully the layoff will help rejuvenate him. Francona says Beckett feels great. I'm assuming he means Beckett is feeling well.
Junichi Tazawa, who struck out two but gave up two hits and a run in the 9th inning of Tuesday's game, is "feeling around 90%."
Finally, former podcast guest and all-around blogger extraordinaire Aaron Gleeman is starting a new feature called "Aaron at the Movies" for Hardball Talk. The feature will presumably exist as long as there are baseball movies to review, or in other words, after this review it will cease to exist. In any case, Mr. Gleeman was privileged to see the new Moneyball movie and the above link is to his review. I won't spoil the ending, but overall it sounds like he liked it. My wife isn't a baseball fan (though she loves singing Sweet Caroline at Fenway) but I'm hoping that the movie will appeal to non-baseball fans and baseball fans alike so I can talk her into going. If I can drag her there (metaphor people!) maybe I can convince her to write a review. "No honey, no swearing."