Wakefield focused on team, not milestone

Wakefield focused on team, not milestone
August 27, 2011, 4:14 am
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By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com Staff Reporter Follow @dannypicard

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com

BOSTON --Its been over a month since Tim Wakefields last win. Andhis next one wont be just any old victory. It will be the 200th of his career.

Unfortunately for the veteran knuckleballer, hes beensearching for that personal milestone since his last win, back on July 24against the Seattle Mariners. And whether he admits it or not, that searchseems to be turning into a never-ending weight on his shoulders.

But after Friday nights 15-5 loss to the Oakland Athleticsat Fenway Park, in which he picked up his sixth loss of the season, Wakefieldinsisted that his biggest disappointment was the fact that he made Red Soxmanager Terry Francona dip into the bullpen before Saturdays double-header.

I think thats my biggest disappointment, knowing that wehave a double-header tomorrow, and I was only able to go four innings tonight,said Wakefield.

I think the biggest disappointment is that I didnt getdeep in the game. Ive got to take my personal numbers and throw them out thewindow right now. Were trying to hold onto a one-game lead in the East, andthe biggest thing coming off a long road trip like that, is to try to win thegame, for us, for the team, not for me personally.

That 200th win will eventually happen, hopefully, addedWakefield. But I think the thing I pride myself most in, is to try to give theclub quality innings and get deep in the game, and not have to use the bullpenlike we did tonight.

Wakefield lasted only four innings on Friday night, while allowingeight runs (four earned) on eight hits, two walks and two home runs.

Most of the damage was done in the top of the fourth inning,as Oakland scored six runs with two outs. Sizemore ripped a two-run home rundown the left-field line to extend the Athletics lead to 4-1.

Jemile Weeks then struck out, but a passed ball by JarrodSaltalamacchia allowed Weeks to get to and extend the inning. After Coco Crispwalked, Hideki Matsui drilled a double off the wall in center field, scoringtwo more runs and giving Oakland a 6-1 lead.

Josh Willingham added insult to injury in the next at-bat byhitting a two-run home run into the monster seats in left-center to make it8-1.

Not a real good night, said Francona. Kind of aninconsistent knuckleball tonight. Some he threw so well, and had sharp break.And then some were up that got hit.

We get the third out in the fourth inning, and the ballgets by Salty, because it is moving. Then they tack on four more. It was justkind of a rough night all the way around.

Thats just the way the fourth inning went, saidSaltalamacchia. Theres nothing really on his part. He still threw the ballthe same way. They just did a great job fighting pitches off, fouling them off,fouling them off, and not really trying to pull it too much.

So heres Wakefield. Six starts since win No. 199, and an0-3 record in those six starts. Friday night marked his shortest start of theseason, but Wakefield insists I has nothing to do with how he feels physically,or any type of pressure thats come with the search for his 200th win.

I take a lot of pride in trying to stop the bleeding theretoo, and trying to pick up my teammates, said Wakefield. I wasnt able to dothat tonight. Unfortunately I couldnt stop the bleeding there in the fourth.

I feel great, added Wakefield. I thought I had somepretty good movement on the ball, except for the end of the fourth inning, andthe ball started leaving the ballpark.

Danny Picard is on twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard.