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Friday, August 26, 2011

Well This Has Certainly Become Painful, Wakefield Goes Sixth Straight Start Without Picking Up Win No. 200

At what point do we agree that the novelty of reaching a milestone in baseball has worn off and it's time to pull the plug on a player's seemingly futile quest?

In the case of Tim Wakefield and the Boston Red Sox, that day gets closer and closer as he started his sixth straight game on the cusp of 200 career wins and once again he couldn't get it done.

This would be one thing if Dr. Creepy and Co. were trying to milk some more money out of Red Sox Nation but this team is in the middle of a pennant race (that means so much for determining playoff opponents).

This one was over early tonight as the Oakland A's (60-71) put a damper on what should be a long couple days with a 15-5 win over the Red Sox (80-51).

Boston got a run in the first as Adrian Gonzalez drove in Jacoby Ellsbury (2 runs, 2 hits, stolen base) for a 1-0 lead.

Unfortunately, Oakland didn't let yesterday's ridiculous loss to the Yankees affect them as they scored twice in the second inning and six times in the fourth. David DeJesus (3 RBIs, 2 runs, 2 hits) and Cliff Pennington (3 hits, 2 RBIs) had RBI singles in the second before the roof completely caved in on Wake and the Red Sox.

Scott Sizemore and Josh Willingham had two-run homers, sandwiched around a two-run single by Hideki Matsui.

That was it for Wakefield (6-6) as he departed after four depressing innings. He allowed eight runs (four earned) on eight hits with four walks and three strikeouts.

Dustin Pedroia (17th of the season) and David Ortiz (3 hits; 26th of the season) went back-to-back in the fourth, giving Boston some hope that they could comeback on Gio Gonzalez (11-11) and the A's but it wasn't to be.

Gonzalez wasn't particularly good but compared to Wakefield, he looked like Cliff Lee. In 5.2 innings, he allowed four earned runs on seven hits with three walks and five strikeouts.

Things got even more embarrassing in the late innings as Oakland piled up insurance runs (1 in the seventh, 4 in the eighth) on Scott Atchison (recalled from Pawtucket) and Matt Albers (4 earned runs). It was so bad that Darnell McDonald was summoned to pitch in the ninth and Willingham greeted him with a two-run double.

Josh Reddick got a two-run double of his own in the ninth, maybe that will get him going at the plate again. He's been lifeless lately.

Tomorrow promises to be a long day at Fenway, weather permitting. Jon Lester faces Guillermo Moscoso at high noon while Erik Bedard and rookie Graham Godfrey will try to conclude the shortened series at 5 p.m. before Hurricane Irene wreeks havoc on Massachusetts.

The Yankees similarly got smoked tonight, at Baltimore, so the Red Sox are still up a game on their main rivals in the AL East.

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