Thursday, August 07, 2008

Let Us Now Praise Famous Men

Game 115 – Red Sox

Red Sox 8, Royals 2
Record: 66-49

Against the advice of counsel, I’m going to do something stupid today. I’m going to offer substantial praise in full knowledge that the simple act will undoubtedly unleash a karmic boomerang on me and the subject of my goodwill. Nobody ever said doing the right thing would be easy.

Tim Wakefield, friends, is a bad, bad man. He’s arguably, probably even, the best #4 starter in the major leagues. He’s certainly and inarguably, one of most cost-efficient veteran starters in the league at $4 million per year. And he’s in the midst of one of the best stretches of his long and wildly underappreciated Red Sox career.

Wake had a miserable start on May 23 against the A’s, surrendering 8 ER in 5 painful innings. That train wreck left him with a 3-3 record and a 5.19 ERA. Since that time he’s made 13 starts, allowing more than 3 ER in only 2 of those games and failing to get out of the 6th inning only once. He’s recorded a 2.92 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP over that 2 ½-month span, with more strikeouts than hits allowed and a 2.7 K/9 ratio. That he’s gone 4-5 over that span is a testament to the inefficiency of the Sox offense (and a testimonial to the limitations of W/L as a measure of a pitcher’s effectiveness). He’s in the top 20 among American League starting pitchers in ERA, WHIP, and Innings Pitched and leads the Sox’ starters in both of the latter categories.

I’ve often praised Wake the man, but usually in the context of lamenting the discomfort involved with watching Wake the pitcher. Today, Wake the pitcher gets his due.

I’ll be ducking in anticipation of that boomerang right about…



Nick said...

One man's Tim Wakefield is another man's Jamie Moyer.

rob said...

to some degree, indeed.

Whitney said...

Why is Brian Giles vetoing a trade to Boston? Is it because of the loser Red Sox fans?

rob said...

almost certainly.