Sping A-Wake-ning for knuckler
Tim Wakefield vowed over and over during the winter that he would be in no way limited by the back surgery he had in October. Given his age (43) and the fact that it was, after all, back surgery, some might have doubted his optimism.
But Wakefield has been backing it up all spring. His second Grapefruit League outing — which took place today in Jupiter, Fla. against the Marlins — was just as strong as his first.
Over three innings, Wakefield gave up two hits and no runs, throwing 30 pitches, 22 for strikes.
“We sort of take it for granted,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona told reporters in Jupiter after the game. “We shouldn’t. You know what he is, he’s just really good. Age hasn’t caught up with him. I know that there’s times when he’s been hurt and hasn’t been able to finish the year. But man when he’s out there, he’s pretty good.”
To Wakefield, the last two outings have just re-affirmed what he has suspected for weeks — he’s healthy.
“I was encouraged when I started working out and I got out of therapy,” Wakefield said. “Just when I first started playing catch, going through the regular motions, the on-the-field stuff felt really good. I’m just looking forward to getting over here, proving it every day to myself. Everything feels good.”
All-around, it was a pretty quiet day on the news front. Daisuke Matsuzaka will throw another side session on Wednesday. Terry Francona still suspects his first Grapefruit League game will be sometime around St. Paddy’s Day.