Tim Wakefield wasn’t at his best, but the Red Sox offense was as they routed the Toronto Blue Jays 18-6 at Fenway Park last night. Wakefield went six innings, giving up five runs, which was enough for him to pick up the win, the 200th of his career.
More importantly to the Red Sox, the win, coupled with a Tampa loss gave them a four-game cushion in the Wild Card standings.
Tim Wakefield’s 200 nothing without ‘04 – Who better to get all sentimental and sappy over Wakefield than Steve Buckley? OK, maybe Dan Shaughnessy? Over on NESN.com Tony Lee says that the win came at the perfect time for the Red Sox. Maureen Mullen has Wakefield grateful that was able to reach this milestone in front of the Fenway fans. Gordon Edes has Wakefield securing his place in history. Rob Bradford has Wakefield showing great timing again for the Red Sox. David Schoenfield on ESPN says that Wakefield is a living connection to the good old days.
Pedroia breaks out in a big way – Michael Whitmer has the Red Sox second baseman breaking out of his slump with a huge night at the plate. Joe McDonald has more on Pedroia and the Red Sox offense finally waking up.
Manny Ramirez: A man without a plan – Buckley also offers thoughts on Manny Ramirez, who might have a tough time trying to adjust to life without the structure of baseball.
Ailing Bobby Jenks KO’d for rest of year – Scott Lauber’s notebook has the reliever’s season coming to an end when he was diagnosed with a small pulmonary embolism. The Red Sox Journal has Josh Beckett saying he’s ready to go. The Globe notebook from Peter Abraham has Beckett likely to pitch on Friday. The Gatehouse notebook from Mike Fine has Kevin Youkilis returning to the lineup, though still in pain.
Making The Grades – Patriots at Dolphins – Jeremy Gottlieb has the Patriots Daily report card for this week. More report cards from Ron Borges | Kirk Minihane | Boston.com | Matt Goisman | Jeff Howe | Steve Grogan
Curran’s 44 lines on 22 Patriot issues – Tom E Curran looks at 22 items around the Patriots.
Criticisms of New England’s Defense Are Overblown and 19 Other Patriots Thoughts – Slacker Jeff Howe only has 20.
Overnight ratings are high – Greg A Bedard risks the ire of Patriots fans* by suggesting that the defense was actually pretty good on Monday night. He even offers more on the defense after fans* went after him on Twitter.
Still some concerns on defense – Mike Reiss has several prime examples of these fans* in his mailbag.
Bill Belichick digs deep, finds stuff to fix – Rich Garven says that the Patriots coach can always find things for his team to work on.
Tedy to Ochocinco: ‘Drop the awe factor’ and get in your playbook – This rant from Tedy Bruschi has made national headlines. Ian Rapoport though, says that Bruschi is dead wrong in what he said.
First Impressions – San Diego Chargers – Greg Doyle looks ahead to the Chargers and has San Diego fans feeling pretty confident.
Bill O’Brien credits splurge to team concept – Rapoport’s notebook has the Patriots offensive coordinator talking about his unit. The Patriots Journal has the no-huddle offense doing a number on the Dolphins. The Globe notebook from Shalise Manza Young has Dan Koppen expected to miss 6-10 weeks with a fractured ankle.
* I’m convinced that these “fans” are really Steelers, Jets or Cowboys fans, Bill Parcells syncophants, or people who jumped on the bandwagon in 2007 and feel “owed” a championship, and who constantly criticize the Patriots just to be annoying and contrarian. There are several who visit this site.