Detroit Knuckles Under...Red Sox 5 Tigers 0
When Tim Wakefield pitches the way he did on Tuesday night in the Motor City, it's a thing of beauty and so much fun to watch. He kept pounding the strike zone, walking NOBODY, and threw 98 pitches in his eight full innings of work. Mike Timlin mopped up in the ninth and was just fine. Wakes made a mechanical adjustment with his feet before the game and mixed in many more fastballs. The mix change was suggested by heavy hitting personal catcher Kevin Cash, who has been a tremendous surprise at the plate. Here's what Wakefield and his catcher had to say after the game...
“I switched my mechanics from the last two starts, where my knuckleball was good I was kind of all over the place,” he said. “I got more in line with my stride toward the plate. I’m kind of open a little bit so my arm can come down toward the plate, but I think I was too open. I just felt like I was all over the place, looking at the tapes and looking at the feet marks, where they were pointing the wrong way.”
With Wakefield adjusted, the next step was integrating more than 20 fastballs and curves, a number typically higher than what the knuckleballer was used to throwing. The thinking, which was relayed by Cash before the game, was to stay in favorable counts.
“There were more fastballs and curveballs than he has thrown this year, no doubt,” Cash said. “And it’s kind of my job just to put the signals down. If he doesn’t want to throw it, then just shake it off. It gets him back in the count quickly. How many fastballs did they swing at? Two or three, the rests were taken and it gets him back in the count.”
Peter here, and I know that excerpt from the Boston Globe was a bit long, but this may be the start of a Wakefield hot streak, and with the way the Red Sox are going right now, that would be HUGE. Get this...in their last 10 games, which represents two turns through the rotation, Sox starters have allowed just 19 earned runs in 88 innings, an earned run average of 1.94. NOT BAD! Those kind of numbers win World Championships.
On the offensive side, there was Manny with home run number 497. I hope he can hit his magic number 500 at home at the Fens. Big Papi also tatered and Kevin Cash chipped in with three hits. One thing's for sure - KC is quite an improvement at the plate compared to his predecessor. Again, the Red Sox were in double figures in hits, and they've been playing great ball in every facet of the game. It doesn't hurt that Detroit hasn't gotten untracked yet this year. They'll get hot sooner or later...let's hope it's later!
Tonight it will be Buchholz against Galarraga again in Detroit, and a win would set up a possible Sox sweep with Beckett going tomorrow. But one game at a time, Peter. I hope you enjoyed last night's game, for it was fun to watch. Have a wonderful Wednesday Hump Day as we start the slide into the weekend. Click on this post's title for all about last night's fifth victory in a row for the "good guys." And that's us! As always, be well.