Tim Wakefield earned his 199th career win on July 24th in a 5-2 victory over the Seattle Mariners. He also became just the second Red Sock to notch 2,000 strikeouts with the franchise (the other Sock? Roger Clemens) in the fifth inning of that game. Just one more win and Wake's name could be added to a list of just 110 pitchers who can claim a 200+ win career. Just one more. So Red Sox fans waited ... and waited ... and waited. It was, in fact, the longest wait of any pitcher chasing 200 in the history of the game. But finally, last night, players and fans alike were able to celebrate his 200th career win.
And win they did. The Sox crushed the Toronto Blue Jays in front of a sell-out crowd at Fenway Park, 18-6. This win was a necessary push in their pursuit of October, moving Boston 4 games ahead of Tampa Bay in the Wild Card race. The team trails the first-place NY Yankees by same number of games.
Wakefield, who is in his 17th season with the Red Sox, is the longest-tenured pitcher in franchise history. At 45-years-old, he is the second oldest player to earn 200 wins (Jack Quinn was less than a month away from his 47th birthday when he won #200 in 1930). Wakefield is a 2x World Champion ('04 and '07), an All-Star (2009), an 11x double-digit winner, the 1995 AL Comeback Player of the Year and 2010 recipient of the Roberto Clemente Award (given to the player who "best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual's contribution to his team").