Red Sox

Wakefield prepared for whatever his role may be

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Wakefield prepared for whatever his role may be

By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com

FORT MYERS, Fla. Tim Wakefield entered in relief of Daisuke Matsuzaka in Saturdays 11-2 loss to the Marlins at City of Palms Park. It was the second time in as many outings hes come in to relieve the Japanese right-hander. Although, hes come in from the bullpen in both Grapefruit League outings, Wakefield is approaching his appearances this spring as starts.

Yeah, he said. Because you never know what might happen inspring training. They put me on (the list to start) the first day, that they were going to stretch me out as a starter because you never know what might happen. And they'd be behind theeight ballif somebody got hurt or something else happened. So, that's the way I have to approach every spring training regardless of what my role might be and when spring is over see what my role might be.

Wakefield went 2 23 innings, giving up two runs on five hits and a walk with two strikeouts.

"I was going to throw three (innings) or 50 (pitches Saturday and obviously the 50 came before the three, but I felt good, he said. Manager Terry Francona came out and said, You're at 58. I really didn't feel I had thrown almost 60 pitches so that told me I'm in shape and keep going."

Which makes him confident of a good season ahead for himself.

"I just think last year coming off surgery, I had a full offseason to really work out to get back to normal instead of rehabbing muscles in the offseason, he said. So I feel a lot stronger now and see what happens."

With Josh Beckett and Matsuzaka injured for a good portion of 2010, Wakefield made 19 starts. When asked his chances of making 20 starts, Wakefield replied:

"Regardless of whether I do or not (get 20 starts) I want to help us win ballgames as much as possible and hopefully I'll get the opportunity to get in there and help us win that way too."

The Red Sox squad that traveled to Sarasota to play the Orioles, managed by bench coach DeMarlo Hale, ended with a 10-inning, 4-4 tie. Alfredo Aceves pitched three innings, giving up one run (unearned) on two hits. Dennys Reyes, in his first appearance for the Sox, pitched one scoreless inning, giving up one hit. Lenny DiNardo was charged with a blown save. Jose Iglesias went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI. Oscar Tejeda went 3-for-5, with a triple and three RBI. Baltimores Jake Fox hit a game-tying home run off Matt Fox in the ninth inning.

Carl Crawford went 2-for-3, his first hits of the spring, with a walk in Sarasota.

Left-hander Jon Lester, who was scheduled to start Sunday against the Mets in Port St. Lucie, has been scratched with the flu. Michael Bowden will start.

J.D. Drew was also out Saturday with the flu.

Brent Dlugach was re-evaluated Saturday morning and diagnosed with a shoulder dislocation event. He has started his rehab program and will begin baseball activities once his range of motion and strength are ready.

Yamaico Navarro went 2-for-2 with his first home run.

Darnell McDonald went 2-for-3 with an RBI.

Bobby Jenks went one inning, with two strikeouts.

That was a really sharpbreaking ballwe saw today, Francona said. His velocity was a little bit more than we expected early on in camp, but that was a really good inning. A day like today, when you're getting beat around, you can hang your hat on a couple of the good things that happened and try to fix the things that didn't work.

Daniel Bard had a rough outing, going 23 of an inning against the Marlins, giving up two runs on two hits and two walks, facing six batters.

Bardo just didn't really bring it from the bullpen to the game, Francona said. He felt good in the bullpen, but the first couple of hitters he was really fighting it. You could tell. He threw a lot of pitches, his velocity was fine. He just needs a little bit of work.

Dustin Pedroia was in the clubhouse after the game against the Marlins, carrying three hot dogs he had just procured from a City of Palms Park concession stand.

Awesome, he declared of his snacks.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

MLB will institute rules to pick up pace, with or without players' agreement

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MLB will institute rules to pick up pace, with or without players' agreement

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Major League Baseball will change rules to speed games next year with or without an agreement with the players' association.

Management proposed last offseason to institute a 20-second pitch clock, allow one trip to the mound by a catcher per pitcher each inning and raise the bottom of the strike zone from just beneath the kneecap to its pre-1996 level at the top of the kneecap. The union didn't agree, and clubs have the right to impose those changes unilaterally for 2018.

Players and MLB have held initial bargaining since summer, and MLB chief legal officer Dan Halem said this week he would like an agreement by mid-January.

"My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players, but if we can't get an agreement we are going to have rule changes in 2018 one way or the other," baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday after a quarterly owners' meeting.

Nine-inning games averaged a record 3 hours, 5 minutes during the regular season and 3:29 during the postseason.

Corey Kluber beats Chris Sale for American League Cy Young

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Corey Kluber beats Chris Sale for American League Cy Young

Max Scherzer heard his name and thrust his arms in the air, shouting and smiling big before turning to kiss his wife.

Corey Kluber, on the other hand, gulped once and blinked.

Two aces, two different styles - and now another Cy Young Award for each.

The animated Scherzer of the Washington Nationals coasted to his third Cy Young, winning Wednesday for the second straight year in the National League. He breezed past Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, drawing 27 of the 30 first-place votes in balloting by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Kluber's win was even more of a runaway. The Cleveland Indians ace took 28 first-place votes, easily outpacing Chris Sale of the Boston Red Sox for his second AL Cy Young.

Scherzer yelled "yes!" when his award was announced on MLB Network, a reaction in keeping with his expressive reputation. He showed that intensity often this year, whether he was cursing under his breath like a madman during his delivery or demanding - also with expletives - that manager Dusty Baker leave him in the game.

Just a little different than the pitcher they call "Klubot." Kluber was stoic as ever when announced as the AL winner. He swallowed hard but otherwise didn't react, only showing the hint of a smile moments later when answering questions.

Not that he wasn't thrilled.

"Winning a second one maybe, for me personally, kind of validates the first one," Kluber said.

Scherzer's win moves him into rare company. He's the 10th pitcher with at least three Cy Youngs, and among the other nine, only Kershaw and Roger Clemens aren't in the Hall of Fame.

"That's why I'm drinking a lot of champagne tonight," Scherzer said.

Scherzer earned the NL honor last year with Washington and the 2013 American League prize with Detroit.

"This one is special," he said. "When you start talking about winning three times, I can't even comprehend it at this point."

Scherzer was 16-6 with a career-best 2.51 ERA this year. The 33-year-old righty struck out a league-leading 268 for the NL East champion Nationals, and in an era noted for declining pitcher durability, he eclipsed 200 innings for the fifth straight season. He had to overcome a variety of ailments to get there, and Washington's training staff was high on his thank-you list.

"Everybody had a role in keeping me out on the field," he said. "I'm very thankful for all their hard work."

Kershaw has won three NL Cy Youngs and was the last pitcher to win back-to-back. He was 18-4 with a league-best 2.31 ERA and 202 strikeouts. This is his second runner-up finish. Stephen Strasburg of the Nationals finished third.

Kluber missed a month of the season with back pain and still easily won the AL award over Sale and third-place finisher Luis Severino of the New York Yankees. Kluber led the majors with a 2.25 ERA, and his 18 wins tied for the most in baseball. He added to the Cy Young he won with the Indians in 2014 and is the 19th pitcher to win multiple times.

The 31-year-old Kluber was especially dominant down the stretch, closing out the season by going 11-1 to help Cleveland win the AL Central. He and Minnesota's Ervin Santana tied for the major league lead with five complete games - nobody else had more than two. Kluber also led the majors with 8.0 wins above replacement, per baseball-reference.com.

Kluber and Scherzer both had rough outings in the playoffs. Kluber gave up nine runs over two starts in an AL Division Series against the Yankees, and Scherzer blew a save in the decisive Game 5 of an NL Division Series against the Cubs.

Scherzer said he couldn't even watch the League Championship Series, although he did tune in for the World Series.

"That will eat at me this whole offseason," he said.

Voting for the awards was completed before the postseason began.

The final BBWAA honors will come Thursday when the MVP awards are announced in the AL and NL.

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