By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com Follow @dannypicard
BOSTON -- The pursuit isnt over. Tim Wakefield is still looking forhis 200th career win after Wednesday night.
The Red Sox defeated the Cleveland Indians in walk-offfashion at Fenway Park, but Wakefield left the game still stuck on 199victories.
After six innings of three-hit ball and a 3-2 lead enteringthe top of the seventh, things looked up for the veteran knuckleballer. ButWakefield led that seventh inning off by allowing a Lonnie Chisenhall double,putting the tying run in scoring position.
Wakefield retired the next two batters at the bottom ofClevelands order, but then allowed a game-tying ground-rule double to Indianslead-off hitter Ezequiel Carrera.
Red Sox manager Terry Francona surprised Wakefield bystrolling out to the mound to take him out of the game. Francona surprisedWakefield so much, that Wakefield had to see it with his own eyes, and turnedto the bullpen to make sure someone was definitely coming in to relieve him,after throwing just 99 pitches and needing only one more out to get out of theinning and hoping his offense could produce some runs to get him that 200thwin.
When asked after the game how disappointed he was to not getwin No. 200 on Wednesday night, Wakefield simply said, I made one bad pitch toCabrera, and that was it.
Wakefield later said, I was hoping I would stay in for onemore hitter, but I dont make the decisions here.
Lefty Randy Williams came in and walked left-hander JasonKipnis, but then struck out Asdrubal Cabrera to get out of the inning.
Still, at that point, even if the Red Sox offense exploded,Wakefield wouldnt have factored into the decision.
He pitched terrific, said Francona. Its hard. I knowwhats riding on the game and for him personally, but you kind of have to dowhat you think is right to win the game. Everybodys pulling for him to get thewin, including myself, and he really pitched well.
He hadnt given up a lot of hits and he was getting outs. Ifwe go to Ezequiel Carrera, theyre probably going to hit Matt LaPorta, so Ithought Wake deserved a chance to pitch. Once they tied it, all of a suddentheyve got a lefty Jason Kipnis theyre not going to hit for, so we go tothe bullpen.
Wakefield finished the game having allowed three runs onfive hits, two walks, and a home run, while striking out six in 6.2 innings.
While he was surprised to not get another shot at the finalout in the seventh, Wakefield did acknowledge that he was happy with the teamgetting the win, even if it meant he had to wait until his next start foranother crack at win No. 200.
Ya, I was satisfied, said Wakefield. I had good stuffagain tonight, and I was able to limit them to just one big inning when theyscored the two runs. Other than that, I kept us in the game into the seventhinning. We won. Thats the biggest thing. We won.
It is what it is, added Wakefield on not getting his 200thwin on Wednesday. I think the most important thing is to go out there and getquality innings for us to get into the postseason.
Obviously, we want him to get that 200th win, said Red Soxcatcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Thats a big milestone in a career. We had agood chance tonight. We were up by one, They got a good hit and scored a run .. . The wins the important thing, and Im sure if you ask him hell tell youthe same thing. Its an important milestone and were looking forward to himgetting it.@font-face font-family: "Times New Roman";p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; a:link, span.MsoHyperlink color: blue; text-decoration: underline; a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed color: purple; text-decoration: underline; table.MsoNormalTable font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; div.Section1 page: Section1;
Danny Picard is on twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard.