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Wakefield still strong after all these years

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff  March 30, 2010 02:38 PM

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FORT MYERS - So what happens first, the Pittsburgh Pirates get to .500 or Tim Wakefield gets to 200 wins?

The reason we ask is Wakefield played for the last Pirate team in 1992 that finished .500. Both 200 wins and breaking the all-time Red Sox record of 192 wins shared by Cy Young and Roger Clemens, means a lot to Wakefield who has a two-year contract which could enable him to reach both marks.

"Those are two pretty big names right there," Wakefield said.

Asked whether Clemens would be happy for him, he said, "I think so. I haven't talked to Roger since he won his 300th game, but I think he would."

Wakefield, who has 189 career wins and 175 with the Red Sox continued to have an injury-less camp pitching three scoreless innings today in a Double-A game vs Tampa Bay at the Red Sox minor league complex.

Mo Moloney, Tampa Bay's Double-A pitching coach, who worked for the Red Sox at one time just marveled at watching Tim Wakefield retire the Rays' Double-A hitters.

"He's an amazing story," Moloney said. "He still gets hitters out. He's still tough to hit. Amazing career, really."

While Wakefield allowed two walks and struck out two, he didn't give up a hit or a run. He struck out rehabbing TB outfielder Matt Joyce in the third inning. Catcher Victor Martinez was on hand to receive Wakefield, who threw one wild pitch.

Wakefield will start the season in the starting rotation, but once Daisuke Matsuzaka returns from the disabled list there are no guarantees what might happen.

Asked whether he thought the Sox would go to a six-man rotation to accommodate all six starters he said, "No. I don't see that ever happening." Why? "Because then you're taking an arm out of the bullpen."

Wakefield expects to throw 80 pitches in his start against the Nationals on Saturday. He's then scheduled to face the Kansas City Royals On Boston's first road trip of the season.

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