The Red Sox won’t go against recent history tonight and start Josh Beckett in Cleveland on three days rest.
Instead, they’ll face the possibility of falling within one game of elimination with Tim Wakefield, who hasn’t pitched in 17 days and hasn’t pitched well since August 25. It will be the knuckleballer and his 6.12 post season ERA getting the ball in the biggest game of the season over the possible American League Cy Young, who routinely makes playoff teams look like the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
They’ll look past common sense and play the numbers even though Wakefield’s numbers tell us that he hasn’t made a quality start in October since 2003.
They’ll look past common sense and push Beckett to game five, which means that if a game seven comes about, they’ll pitch a shell-shocked Daisuke Matsuzaka to save the season.
It might work out for the Sox. Wakefield is pro and he certainly could deliver tonight; He’s definitely easier to trust than Matsuzaka. And David Ortiz, with his about-to-explode knee is a clutch hit away from becoming Boston’s Kurt Gibson. And they still have Manny raking and Papelbon to close. They’re still the Red Sox and that’s still Paul Byrd that had to shut down their lineup.
But why not go with Beckett just to be safe? It’s not like he hasn’t started on short rest before. Last time, he shutout the Yankees to win the World Series for the Florida Marlins.
Looked like an ace then. He’s most definitely an ace now.
Nope, they would rather look past common sense and start Wakefield, whose history suggests Beckett’s Thursday night start will be do-or-die for the Red Sox.
Senseless is what it is.