Happy Birthday Trevor
Trevor Stephen Wakefield was born in the early morning hours of Saturday, May 15. Last night in Tampa Bay, his dad, Timothy Stephen Wakefield--number 49 on your program--delivered a bundle of joy of his own:
The Rays were easy prey for Wakefield, who improved to 9-1 with a 2.61 ERA against them in his career.
"Once I got in the game, I realized it was kind of like riding a bike," he said, "and my concentration got back to where it needed to be."
After Crawford's single, Wakefield retired 15 of the next 16 batters before he needed to snuff a minor threat in the sixth. He yielded after the seventh to Scott Williamson, who allowed a run in the eighth. Mike Timlin took it from there, surrendering another run in the ninth in clinching the victory, which ranked among the most precious of Wakefield's career.
"I've never experienced this before," the new father said. "It was kind of special for me." (Globe)
Pitcher and lineup are both doing fine.
Meanwhile, Andy and I may yet have to write that heavy-metal song about Mark Bellhorn, who crushed a home run in the seventh.
The only part of the game I got to hear, though, was the second inning. I was waiting to go in and report on the wailing and gnashing of teeth over a tax override in Littleton, so, sitting in my car in front of their palatial high school, I listened to as much as I could.
Manolito got things going with a double with the score 1-0, D-Rays. Belli took the plate and the WEEI announcers noted that Belli had something ridiculous like an .857 average against the stiff Tampa had on the mound.
"Come on, Belli," I said out loud, drawing curious looks from the other people disembarking their cars around me, "Big hit, man, big hit."
"Okay, okay," I clapped my hands. I looked like a complete lunatic.
Next up, Billy Mueller.
"Come on, Billy, big hit, big hit."
Couple pitches, couple balls, couple strikes, and then Billy singled to score Manny.
"Sweet!" But we still needed to go ahead. This was the D-Rays. It was a matter of pride. If they do anything less than sweep these bums this week, I'll be "some pissed" as my father says.
Gabe Kapler came up next.
"Come on, Gaby, big hit, big hit." This was my mantra.
People were staring at me. Really.
Gaby popped up. "Gaby, you friggin..." I stopped myself. Positive thoughts. Positive.
Pokey Reese came up to bat. "Pooooooooooooke," I intoned in my deepest, most solemn voice. "Pooooooke."
I'm tired of hearing about the "light-hitting Pokey Reese". I think he only looks that way in comparison to how he plays defensively. He's certainly better than Bellhorn, Crespo, or any of the other ham-n-eggers they have on the bench so far. When Poke came up, I closed my eyes.
I pictured Pokey getting a base hit. I pictured the ball rolling into the right-field corner of Fenway since I don't know what the Devil Rays' stadium looks like. I sat there and meditated hard on that ball coming off Pokey's bat and rolling along through right to the corner. I thought about that till I could picture it so clearly that it was as if it had already happened.
When I opened my eyes, Pokey had hit, scoring Belli and bumping Billy to second. To left field, not to right, but it was a base hit grounder, just as I'd pictured otherwise. The Sox were now ahead 2-1, and they would not lose the lead again.
Interesting. This whole positive visualization thing may have some merit after all.