Wakefield replaces Penny in the rotation

Wakefield

After a decent first half, Brad Penny has looked horrid in his last few starts, most notably allowing eight earned runs against the Yankees in yesterday’s blowout. In 24 starts this season, Penny has a 7-8 record with a 5.61 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP. That not going to cut if for Terry Francona and the Bo Sox. Returning from this DL is veteran Tim Wakefield and he will start in Penny’s place against the White Sox next Wednesday.

Wakefield (11-3) last pitched for Boston on July 8 and made his second rehab start Friday night since going on the disabled list July 21 with a strained lower back, left hamstring and left calf. In 5 2-3 innings for Triple-A Pawtucket, the knuckleballer allowed one run and two hits in a 2-1 win over Rochester.

At 43 years-old, Wakefield is having one of the most impressive seasons of his long career. Sporting an 11-3 record, I’m sure the Red Sox are eager to have Wakefield back. Judging by their play against the Yankees, the Red Sox Nation must be freaking out right now. Remember when everyone was in awe of the Red Sox pitching staff coming into this season? They had added free agents Brad Penny, John Smoltz, and Takashi Saito to their already dominant staff of Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, Daisuke Matsuzaka, and Jonathan Papelbon. Well, Smoltz is gone, Dice-K is on the DL, and now Penny’s future is in question. Lucky for them, Beckett and Lester are having solid seasons, but who would have thought the Sox would ever be in dire need of Wakefield’s arm?

It’s going to be very exciting to watch the Sox, Yankees, and Rays compete for their division and the wild card spot. All these teams can hit, so it’s the teams with the stronger rotation that will achieve a playoff spot. With Kazmir and Garza of the Rays finally starting to pitch with some authority, Wakefield’s return comes at just the right time.

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