Wakefield blown away by A's, 15-5


Wakefield blown away by A's, 15-5

By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com Follow @maureenamullen
BOSTON Tim Wakefields quest for career win No. 200 will have to wait for his seventh try, at least, after his sixth attempt proved futile, as the Red Sox fell to the As, 15-5, at Fenway Park Friday night.

Wakefield went four innings, giving up eight runs (four earned) on eight hits and two walks, with two strikeouts and a passed ball. His record fell to 6-6 while his ERA climbed to 5.10.

Wakefield gave up a season-high four runs in one inning with six runs in the fourth, when the As sent 10 batters to the plate. The As did all their damage with two outs, capped by two-run home runs by Scott Sizemore and Josh Willingham, and a two-run double by Hideki Matsui.

Gio Gonzalez got the win for the As, improving to 11-11.

The Sox got on the scoreboard first, when Jacoby Ellsbury led off with a double, stole third, and scored on Adrian Gonzalezs single in the first. They added two in the third on back-to-back home runs by Dustin Pedroia, his 17th of the season, tying a career high, and David Ortiz, his 26th. It was the eighth time the Sox have hit consecutive home runs this season.

The As added seven runs over the last three innings. Scott Atchison relieved Wakefield and gave up a run in the seventh, while Matt Albers allowed four in the eighth.

Darnell McDonald pitched the ninth inning, his first professional appearance on the mound. It was the first time a position player has pitched for the Red Sox since Bill Hall on May 28, 2010. McDonald allowed two runs.

Weeks went 3-for-5, with two doubles, three runs scored, and a walk. With a strikeout-passed ball in the fourth inning and a ninth-inning walk, he reached base five times. His three hits match a career high for the ninth time. (He also had three hits against the Yankees on Thursday). His three runs scored tie a career high for the third time. This was his first career game with two doubles, although he has two other games with multiple extra-base hits, each with a double and a triple.

Willingham went 2-for-5 with a double, a home run, two runs scored, and four RBI. He had one of two two-run homers against Tim Wakefield in the sixth-run fourth inning. It was Willinghams team-leading 23rd homer of the season and 10th in his last 26 games. He also had a two-run double in the ninth off Darnell McDonald for the As final two runs of the game. Willingham has 13 RBI in his last 10 games and a team-high 79 for the season. His eight home runs this month are the most in August since Eric Chavez hit nine in 2004.

THE GOAT: Tim Wakefield
In his sixth attempt for his 200th career win, Wakefield came up empty. He went four innings, his shortest start of the season and shortest outing since two innings against the Rangers on July 15, 2010, giving up eight runs (four earned) on eight hits and two walks with three strikeouts and a wild pitch. His record fell to 6-6, while his ERA climbed to 5.10.

Given a 1-0 lead in the first, Wakefield gave it back in the next inning, allowing two runs. From there, the As continued to add on. Wakefield allowed a season-high four runs in an inning, giving up six (two earned) in the fourth, passing his previous high of five in the fifth inning in Baltimore on July 18. It also matches a season high for any Sox pitcher in an inning this season. Wakefield has not earned a win since July 24 against the Mariners.

With the Sox trailing by just a run going into the fourth, the As scored six runs in the inning, sending 10 batters to the plate. The As scored all their runs in the inning with two outs. The hole was too deep for the Sox or Wakefield to climb out of. Wakefield was done after the inning.

In giving up 15 runs, Red Sox pitching fell one run short of its season high, behind only the 16 runs allowed to the Rays on April 11. Wakefield gave up eight runs (four earned) in four innings. Scott Atchison gave up one run in three innings. Matt Albers allowed four runs in one inning. And Darnell McDonald, pitching for the first time since high school, was responsible for two runs in one inning.

I think the biggest disappointment is that I didnt get deep in the game. Ive got to take my personal numbers and throw them out the window right now. Were trying to hold onto a one-game lead in the East, and the biggest thing coming off a long road trip like that, is to try to win the game, for us, for the team, not for me personally. That 200th win will eventually happen, hopefully. But I think the thing I pride myself most in, is to try to give the club quality innings and get deep in the game, and not have to use the bullpen like we did tonight. -- Tim Wakefield, on the loss

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

NLCS: Cubs eliminate Dodgers, reach Series for first time since 1945


NLCS: Cubs eliminate Dodgers, reach Series for first time since 1945

CHICAGO -- Cursed by a Billy Goat, bedeviled by Bartman and crushed by decades of disappointment, the Chicago Cubs are at long last headed back to the World Series.

Kyle Hendricks outpitched Clayton KershawAnthony Rizzo and Willson Contreras homered early and the Cubs won their first pennant since 1945, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-0 Saturday night in Game 6 of the NL Championship Series.

The drought ended when closer Aroldis Chapman got Yasiel Puig to ground into a double play, setting off a wild celebration inside Wrigley Field, outside the ballpark and all over the city.

Seeking their first crown since 1908, manager Joe Maddon's team opens the World Series at Cleveland on Tuesday night. The Indians haven't won it all since 1948 - Cleveland and Cubs have the two longest title waits in the majors.

"This city deserves it so much," Rizzo said. "We got four more big ones to go, but we're going to enjoy this. We're going to the World Series. I can't even believe that."

All-everything Javier Baez and pitcher Jon Lester shared the NLCS MVP. Baez hit .318, drove in five runs and made several sharp plays at second base. Lester, a former World Series champion in Boston, was 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA in two starts against the Dodgers.

Deemed World Series favorites since opening day, the Cubs topped the majors with 103 wins to win the NL Central, then beat the Giants and Dodgers in the playoffs.

The Cubs overcame a 2-1 deficit against the Dodgers and won their 17th pennant. They had not earned a World Series trip since winning a doubleheader opener 4-3 at Pittsburgh on Sept. 29, 1945, to clinch the pennant on the next-to-last day of the season.

The eternal "wait till next year" is over. No more dwelling on a history of failure - the future is now.

"We're too young. We don't care about it," star slugger Kris Bryant said. "We don't look into it. This is a new team, this is a completely different time of our lives. We're enjoying it and our work's just getting started."

Hendricks pitched two-hit ball for 7 1/3 innings. Chapman took over and closed with hitless relief, then threw both arms in the air as he was mobbed by teammates and coaches.

The crowd joined in, chanting and serenading their team.

"Chicago!" shouted popular backup catcher David Ross.

The Cubs shook off back-to-back shutout losses earlier in this series by pounding the Dodgers for 23 runs to win the final three games.

And they were in no way overwhelmed by the moment on Saturday, putting aside previous frustration.

In 1945, the Billy Goat Curse supposedly began when a tavern owner wasn't allowed to bring his goat to Wrigley. In 2003, the Cubs lost the final three games of the NLCS to Florida, punctuated with a Game 6 defeat when fan Steve Bartman deflected a foul ball.

Even as recently as 2012, the Cubs lost 101 times.

This time, no such ill luck.

Bryant had an RBI single and scored in a two-run first. Dexter Fowler added two hits, drove in a run and scored one.

Contreras led off the fourth with a homer. Rizzo continued his resurgence with a solo drive in the fifth.

That was plenty for Hendricks, the major league ERA leader.

Hendricks left to a standing ovation after Josh Reddick singled with one out in the eighth. The only other hit Hendricks allowed was a single by Andrew Toles on the game's first pitch.

Kershaw, dominant in Game 2 shutout, gave up five runs and seven hits before being lifted for a pinch hitter in the sixth. He fell to 4-7 in the postseason.

The Dodgers haven't been to the World Series since winning in 1988.

Pitching on five days' rest, the three-time NL Cy Young Award winner threw 30 pitches in the first. Fowler led off with a double, and Bryant's single had the crowd shaking the 102-year-old ballpark.

They had more to cheer when left fielder Andrew Toles dropped Rizzo's fly, putting runners on second and third, and Ben Zobrist made it 2-0 a sacrifice fly.

The Cubs added a run in the second when Addison Russell doubled to deep left and scored on a two-out single by Fowler.


Maddon benched slumping right fielder Jason Heyward in favor of Albert Almora Jr.

"Kershaw's pitching, so I wanted to get one more right-handed bat in the lineup, and also with Albert I don't feel like we're losing anything on defense," Maddon said. "I know Jason's a Gold Glover, but I think Albert, given an opportunity to play often enough would be considered a Gold Glove-caliber outfielder, too."

Heyward was 2 for 28 in the playoffs - 1 for 16 in the NLCS.


Kerry Wood, wearing a Ron Santo jersey, threw out the first pitch and actor Jim Belushi delivered the "Play Ball!" call before the game. Pearl Jam front man Eddie Vedder and actor John Cusack were also in attendance. And Bulls great Scottie Pippen led the seventh-inning stretch.