Posted 02 June 2011 - 12:33 PM
He needs 11 wins just to tie the record, 12 to break it. Obviously for him to have a chance, he has to be the one who stays in the rotation when Lackey returns.
If their most recent starts were auditions for the job, then Wakefield (6 IP, 4 ER, at least two of which we know for a fact are on the 2nd base ump) has the edge on Aceves (5 IP, 6 ER). Overall, their numbers as starters this year:
Aceves – 3 starts, 4.50 ERA, .703 OPS against, 1.438 WHIP
Wakefield - 5 starts, 4.25 ERA, .687 OPS against, 1.213 WHIP
There's the whole small sample size thing. Before his most recent start, Aceves had a 1.64 ERA and .569 OPS against as a starter. But Wake has been pretty good, too. The two starts that inflated his ERA had a combination of bad umpiring (the first time around, it was Angel Hernandez's creative application of the balk rule) and less than helpful defense (tough play yesterday, but I think Pedroia catches that bloop into RF more often than he falls on his face and slides across the warning track in foul territory; First time around, Jed Lowrie was just a total disaster). His other three starts have been 1 ER, 1 ER, and 2 ER.
So, I'm guessing he's the guy for now. But it still won't be easy. He had a no decision earlier this year in a game in which he left with 2 outs, a runner on first, and a 2-0 lead – only to see the bullpen blow it. He just doesn't go that deep into games. He threw 98 pitches yesterday. That's the most he's thrown since last July. Maybe as a regular part of the rotation, he'll start to go deeper into games. If not, then the wins and losses are really out of his hands.
If he does stay in the rotation, he gets close enough that the team feels a lot of pressure to bring him back next season. But 12 wins after June 1? Last time he did that (or 12 wins, period) was 2007, when he won 17 overall. To even tie the record this year, he would have to finish with 13 wins. He's only done that 5 times in his previous 16 seasons in Boston, and just twice in the last 12. It would take a hell of a run for him to get there this year.