Friday, May 27, 2011
Tim Wakefield Just 12 Wins From Surpassing Roger Clemens & Cy Young
With his win tonight, Tim Wakefield is just 11 wins behind Roger Clemens and Cy Young on the Red Sox' all time wins list.
Wakefield now has 181 wins in 17 seasons with the Red Sox, while Clemens and Young are tied at 192 wins apiece.
Young achieved the total in just eight seasons, while Clemens did it in 13.
Tonight, Wakefield pitched seven strong innings, allowing five hits and two earned runs, while walking two and striking out two.
Over his last two starts, Wakefield has gone 13.2 innings, allowing nine hits, two walks and three earned runs.
With Wakefield pitching so effectively, the Red Sox may feel inclined to keep him in Daisuke Matsuzaka's spot in the rotation.
Although Alfredo Aceves has been excellent over two recent spot starts (11 innings, 8 hits, 2 ER), he is much better suited to the bullpen than Wakefield.
If Wakefield were to get 20 more starts from now until season's end (a reasonable expectation), given the Red Sox potent offense, he would have a credible chance to win 12 games.
Viewed from another perspective, Wakefield has four months to get 12 more wins and become the winningest pitcher in team history.
The knuckleballer also needs just 31 more Ks to become only the second pitcher in Red Sox history to record 2,000 strikeouts. Roger Clemens is the Sox all-time leader with 2,590 punch outs.
The 2,000 strikeout plateau seems well within Wakefield's reach. If he averages just 3.1 Ks over his next 10 starts, he'll reach that milestone.
The 12 wins will be a greater challenge. But while such an achievement once seemed improbable, it also seems to now be within Wakefield's grasp.