Monday, January 04, 2010

Wakefield innings

Someone asked about my comment, in the Red Sox decade in review post, that Tim Wakefield has never been the "innings eater" that he's reputed to be.

People have a perception, I think, that Wakefield always takes the ball, always goes deep in games, can throw forever and, therefore, pitches a disproportionately high number of innings, saving the rest of the staff. But other than being 6th in the AL in innings in 2005, he doesn't have another top-10 finish in innings pitched. Other than 2005 and 1997, he's never led the team. And in neither of those years did he really "eat" a lot of innings - he led the team because other people got hurt.

In 2007, for example, while people were praising Wakefield as an innings-eater and bemoaning Matsuzaka's inability to get through the 5th, Matsuzaka pitched 15 more innings in only one more start.

This isn't a knock on Wakefield - I just think that the whole "eats innings" thing has been overstated.

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