Wake could provide relief
With the bullpen getting taxed in Friday’s 13-inning win, veteran knuckleballer Tim Wakefield volunteered for relief duty on Saturday.
It is Wakefield’s normal side day, and even if he pitches, it wouldn’t affect his next scheduled turn in the rotation, which is Tuesday night against the Marlins.
Red Sox manager Terry Francona is hoping he won’t have to use Wakefield, but was glad to have the option.
“Wake is going to be available and hopefully it’s just one of those [situations] where we can use the guys we want to, and use them correctly, knowing he’s behind them,” said Francona. “If something happened early, that would be a situation [to use Wakefield] also. He’s aware of it. That helps us a lot. Wakey is pitching on Tuesday. We got pretty deep last night.”
Wakefield last pitched in the bullpen in Game 5 of the 2004 ALCS, pitching three scoreless innings to earn the win in a 14-inning epic. Of course, that performance was most remembered for Jason Varitek having three passed balls in that top of the 13th inning, but somehow clutching strike three as the Red Sox got out of it unscathed.
In other news, shortstop Julio Lugo, who had a key pinch-hit on Friday, was in the starting lineup for the first time in eight days.
“He hasn’t played in a while and I don’t know that’s in anybody’s best interest, even maybe [Nick Green],” Francona said. “Giving him a day helps everybody.”
– Ian Browne