Actually, it’s probably more like his, I dunno, 900th batter, because you figure he’s gotten a lot of them more than once:
Not only did Tim Wakefield get a spot a start on Wednesday, but he
notched a milestone along the way. When he struck out Blue Jays center
fielder Vernon on — what else? — a knuckleball, it was No. 2,000 in
his career. The 43-year-old Wakefield is the fourth active pitcher to have 2,000
strikeouts. The others are Jamie Moyer (Phillies), Andy Pettitte and
Javier Vazquez of the Yankees.
I like how the MLB.com story only refers to his 2000th victim as “Vernon.” Wouldn’t it be cool if we started doing the one-name thing in baseball like they do in soccer? Wait, no it wouldn’t. Too many Jasons and Johns. Too boring. I’d be all for doing it with Ubaldo, however, because that really works.
As for Wakefield, knuckleballers rule and long may his flutterball fly.
Here are the Rangers and Blue Jays lineups for Game 1 of the ALDS in Toronto:
CF Delino DeShields
RF Shin-Soo Choo
3B Adrian Beltre
DH Prince Fielder
1B Mike Napoli
LF Josh Hamilton
SS Elvis Andrus
2B Rougned Odor
C Robinson Chirinos
SP Yovani Gallardo
With left-hander David Price on the mound for Toronto the Rangers are going with Mike Napoli at first base over Mitch Moreland. Beyond that it’s a pretty standard lineup for Texas, or at least standard for what manager Jeff Banister used down the stretch once Josh Hamilton was healthy enough to play left field.
LF Ben Revere
3B Josh Donaldson
RF Jose Bautista
DH Edwin Encarnacion
SS Troy Tulowitzki
1B Justin Smoak
C Russell Martin
2B Ryan Goins
CF Kevin Pillar
SP David Price
After returning from the disabled list for the final weekend of the regular season Troy Tulowitzki is in the lineup and batting fifth. That allows Ryan Goins to play second base in place of the injured Devon Travis. Justin Smoak gets the nod over Chris Colabello at first base against a right-hander.
Houston made one unexpected change to the roster for the ALDS, leaving off veteran reliever Chad Qualls.
Qualls warmed up but never appeared in the Wild Card game win over the Yankees and during the regular season the 36-year-old right-hander logged 49 innings with a 4.38 ERA and 46/9 K/BB ratio. Qualls was on the Astros’ last playoff team in 2005.
Utility man Jonathan Villar has been bumped off the roster in favor of outfielder Preston Tucker, as the Astros opted for a good left-handed bat off the bench versus the Royals rather than Villar’s speed.