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There’s no arguing that Rich Harden is one of the most talented pitchers in the major leagues. The one thing preventing him from taking the next big step is his inability to stay healthy. He looked very strong however against the Red Sox Friday night, striking out eight in six innings of work while allowing only two runs. As good as Harden was, Sox starter Tim Wakefield was that much worse. His knuckleball wouldn’t knuckle, his fastball wasn’t fast enough, and his curveball was flat over five innings of work. Wake allowed eight runs on eight hits and four walks. He allowed yet another HR to old foe Frank Thomas in the first inning.
Sox Stud of the Game:
There was definitely not much to choose from, but I guess Jacoby Ellsbury was the only Sox Stud after a two-hit night. He went 2-4 with two RBI in the Sox loss. He was caught stealing for the second time this season, however.
Diamond Dud of the Game:
Manny Ramirez has just been really bad recently, which is very un-Manny like. I mean, he’s in a Ray Allen-type slump. Manny went 0-4 and is now 4-30 (.133) since May 13 with one RBI and three walks. He’ll bust out at some point, it’s just a matter of when, not if.
We Salute You, Wake
No, I’m not being sarcastic. We all know Wakefield will be just awful some games and amazing in others. That’s a given. What’s also a guarantee is his desire to help the team in anyway possible. He’s always been like that. He stayed in the game for five gutsy innings after allowing seven runs in the first three innings. It’s not that he kept the Red Sox in the game, but he preserved the bullpen. I remember when the Yankees destroyed us 19-8 in Game 3 of the 2004 ALCS…it was Wakefield who was clobbered during his middle relief appearance (3.1 IP, 5 ER, 5 H, 2 BB) but he saved the Red Sox some precious innings for Mike Timlin and Kieth Foulke later on in the series as the Red Sox won in seven games.