He may be 44 years old and may have been relegated from the starting rotation to the bullpen this season, but Tim Wakefield still has the winning spirit in him. And that's why the knuckleballer earns this week's Amica Pitcher of the Week honors.
Granted, his victory for the Red Sox this week was primarily earned thanks to the incredible performance by a five-home run effort put forth by the Boston offense, but Wakefield anchored the efforts on the mound.
In an game he didn't know he was starting until the night before, Wakefield took the hill against Tampa Bay on Wednesday after the Rays had pummeled the Sox 14-5 the night before. He threw five innings, where the Rays scattered six hits and five runs (four of them earned) on Wake. He struck out four in the win but picked up more than a just another W in Boston's 11-5 rout of revenge.
As of Wednesday evening, Wakefield was 44 years and 37 days old, becoming the oldest pitcher in Red Sox history to earn a win. He surpassed the record previously set by Dennis Eckersley, who was 43 years and 349 days old when he won his last game with the Sox against the Orioles in 1998.
While he hasn't had the shining year he was hoping for, posting a 4-10 record with a 5.26 ERA, Wakefield has still said he would take more starts should they come his way.
"I?d love it," Wakefield said after Wednesday's game. "I don?t know if it?s going to happen. They haven?t told me anything."
Until then, he'll remain in the bullpen, a viable option the next time the Red Sox need a spur-of-the-moment starter. We all know his heart's still in it.