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Wakefield continues to impress

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  July 7, 2011 12:22 AM

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AP Photo/Steven Senne

The Red Sox started the season with Jon Lester, John Lackey, Clay Buchholz, Josh Beckett and Daisuke Matsuzaka in their rotation. Tim Wakefield was the other guy.

Dice-K is done for the season. Buchholz and Lester have joined him on the disabled list. Lackey ... well, there's no reason to rehash his season.

Beckett went from No. 4 starter to All-Star. Wakefield's rise has been perhaps even more impressive.

The 44-year-old is 5-3 with a 4.47 earned run average after beating the Blue Jays tonight. Since joining the rotation on May 22, Wakefield is 5-2, 4.47 with the Sox winning six of his nine starts.

Im getting an opportunity to try to help us win, whatever capacity that might be in, he said after holding the Jays to three runs in seven innings. Im very proud of the job that Ive done so far.

Wakefield said he prepared himself to throw 175-plus innings this season and that may be what the Sox need given all their injuries.

Tonight was his 198th win. See the Globe tomorrow for more on Tim.

The other interesting aspect of tonight's game was how the Sox again hammered Ricky Romero.

Romero lasted only 4.1 innings, giving up six runs on nine hits. In 11 career starts against the Red Sox, Romero has an 8.08 earned run average, giving up 79 hits over 52.1 innings. He has a 3.06 ERA in 68 starts against other teams. The Red Sox are hitting .357 against him.

Romero wondered after the game whether he was tipping his pitches and the Red Sox had figured it out.

None of the hits he allowed were cheapies, either. The way Jacoby Ellsbury and Kevin Youkilis were swinging the bat, clearly the Sox are locked in on what Romero is doing.

The Sox have won six of their last seven games and closed to within a half-game of the first-place Yankees in the American League East. The last-place Baltimore Orioles arrive at Fenway tonight to start a four-game series that will lead into the All-Star break.

Thanks to everybody for reading today.

By the way, as soon I get named Supreme Ruler of All Thing Baseball, I'm outlawing the save statistic. Jonathan Papelbon has allowed three runs on five hits, a walk and a hit batter the last two night and has two saves. That's a useless stat.

All kidding aside, Papelbon has a 6.75 ERA since June 1. It hasn't cost the Red Sox a game yet. But the tightrope is going to snap one of these days.

Oh, and if I do get named Supreme Ruler of All Thing Baseball, you can all have free beer.

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