Wakefield still stuck on No. 199

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Wakefield still stuck on No. 199

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.

Dombrowski knows ‘winning the winter’ isn’t the ultimate goal

Dombrowski knows ‘winning the winter’ isn’t the ultimate goal

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md -- In the span on less than 12 hours earlier this week, the Red Sox injected some impact players onto their roster, moves that cost them a large chunk of their farm system but made them the prohibitive favorites in the American League.
    
By adding All-Star starter Chris Sale, power set-up man Tyler Thornburg and first baseman Mitch Moreland (though the Sox have not confirmed the latter yet), the team was remade and became the talk of the Winter Meetings.
     
But Dave Dombrowski knows that "winning the winter'' can be a hollow achievement. It's what happens when the games start that will truly matter.
     
"We feel good,'' said Dombrowski as he got ready to depart. "We feel like we have a better ballclub. We feel like we've helped ourselves. Our guys have done a good job here all week long. So, we feel good about it.
     
"In the winter time, winning doesn't really mean anything. We've had that situation before. It really comes down to how well you play. That's why when people ask me to made predictions, I never make them. I think we have a club that can compete. I like our ballclub. But you really have to go about it on a day-in, day-out basis and take care of your business and I think our club will do that.''
     
The Red Sox, of course, won the A.L. East, but were summarily dismissed in the Division Series by the Cleveland Indians, who swept them in three straight.
     
The Sox were the best offensive club in the majors, but the retirement of David Ortiz takes a huge weapon out of their lineup. It's doubtful they'll score as many runs as they did a year ago.
     
Correspondingly, the Sox vastly improved their rotation with Sale, giving them three front-line starters and, in theory, a chance to go further into the postseason in 2017.
     
So deep are the Sox, in fact, that they now have seven established starters, a surplus that has them positioned to move one arm.
    
It may take some time for the market to develop, as clubs explore what's available from other teams and in free agency.
     
"I don't know what that will be,'' Dombrowski said. "We'll just kind of wait and see what takes place. I think a lot is dependent on other things that need to shake out. So our depth in starting pitching is somewhat new to people. They need time to analyze that. I had a couple clubs approach me about that [inside the Rule 5 draft] this morning. Again, we're not jumping. We'll just wait and see what happens.''
     
Dombrowski could choose to move either Drew Pomeranz or Clay Buchholz, though it would seem dumping Buchholz's $13.5 million contract would be his preference.
     
That would enable Dombrowski to get closer to the $195 million luxury tax threshold, which he has said is a preference not a mandate.
     
"I have a preference [in choosing which starter to move],’’ he said with a smile. "I won't share that with you, but I have a preference.''

 

Red Sox re-acquire INF Rutledge in Rule 5 draft

Red Sox re-acquire INF Rutledge in Rule 5 draft

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- On Wednesday afternoon, Dave Dombrowski was asked what else he might be searching for to complete his roster.
     
Dombrowski, noting that Travis Shaw had been dealt away in the trade that brought the Red Sox reliever Tyler Thornburg, said the Red Sox could use another utility infielder to compete with left-handed-hitting Marco Hernandez.
     
On Thursday morning, Dombrowski found a familiar body in the unlikeliest of places.
     
The Sox selected Josh Rutledge from the Colorado Rockies in the Rule 5 draft. Rutledge, who was once obtained in exchange for outfielder Shane Victorino, spent parts of two seasons with the Red Sox, posting a slash line of .276/.338/.358 with a homer and 13 RBI in 67 games.
     
He missed most of last season with a knee injury and was outrighted by the Sox last month, becoming a free agent. He signed a minor league deal with the Rockies, but was unprotected by the Rockies and made available in Thursday's draft.
     
"We always liked him,'' said Dombrowski. "He thought his opportunity to play at the big league level was better [in Colorado]. But it was a situation for us, we looked at our club and we thought we might need a right-handed [hitting] utility infielder. We looked over the list and we like what he can do for our ballclub. So he was on obvious choice for us.''
     
Rutledge will compete against Marco Hernandez to become another bench player to team with Brock Holt on the Red Sox  roster.
     
Deven Marrero is also a righthand-hitting infielder, but his strength is defense and he's yet to prove he can hit major league pitching.
     
"I'd rather have someone [competing] who can swing the bat a little bit more,'' said Dombrowski. "I think [Rutledge] lines up to be on our club. We'll see what happens in spring training, but we know him, we like him. There looks like there's a path for him.''
     
Drafting Rutledge cost the Red Sox just $50,000 and he must  remain on the team's 25-man roster all season or, be offered back to the Rockies and placed on waivers.
     
The Sox also lost two players in the Rule 5 major league draft. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim chose right-handed pitcher Justin Haley, while the Baltimore Orioles chose outfielder Aneury Tavarez.