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Tim Wakefield on MFB: ‘It shocked me that this many trades happened’

08.04.14 at 12:12 pm ET
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Former Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield joined Middays with MFB at the inaugural Red Sox Foundation charity golf tournament at Belmont Country Club to discuss the departure of Jon Lester and others at the trade deadline as well as the struggles of Clay Buchholz. To listen to the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

Wakefield admitted that he was shocked at the flurry of moves that Boston made last week, especially deals in which the team shipped Lester and John Lackey to Oakland and St. Louis, respectively.

“I was disappointed that it came to this point,” Wakefield said. “I don’t think it needed to be this way, because you talk about a week before this all happened, they were buyers. They really were. And all of the sudden, I don’t know what happened. Being an analyst on NESN, I still can’t put my finger on what happened, except for the lack of run support or lack of runs scored. If you look at their statistics, they were third in the league on getting on base, whether it be a walk or a hit, but they just couldn’t get that one flare that you need every week to drive in a run.

“It shocked me that this many trades happened within a three or four-day period. …  Clay is the ace of the staff right now and that’s not a bad thing. He’s pitching bad right mow, but I think it’s all a mechanical thing.”

Buchholz is mired in one of the worst stretches of his career, as the righty has allowed 14 earned runs over his last two outings. While Buchholz has mostly underwhelmed this entire season, Wakefield said that he believes that Buchholz’s issues can be corrected.

“I just think he’s fallen off to his left side to much,” Wakefield said. “His misses are up and in to a righty and down and away from a righty. He’s yanking balls left and right. It’s one of those things, and I struggled with it too, that you know what you’re doing wrong but you just can’t fix it quick enough. People might disagree with me, but I still like his stuff, and he’s got potential.”

Wakefield added that Buchholz’s tendency of taking a long time between pitches could be having a negative effect on not only the righty but the rest of his team.

“It’s painful to watch sometimes when he’s not pitching well,” Wakefield said. “He slows it down a lot. That’s one thing that I prided myself in, whether I was going to pitch well or pitch bad, it was going to happen fast. That’s what was taught to me at a young age: Work fast, change speeds and throw strikes. … I’m not saying Clay is doing it on purpose, it’s just his way of slowing the game down, but it’s almost to a snail’s crawl sometimes. It kills your defense.”

While the Red Sox raised the white flag on the 2014 season with their deadline moves, Wakefield was impressed by the major league talent Boston acquired Thursday, adding that a quick rebuild is the only option in a market like Boston.

“I think they did the right thing by not going to get all these prospects, because this is Boston, you’ve got to put a competitive team on the field year after year, and they’ve won three out of the last 10 World Series championships,” Wakefield said.

“This is not a city to have a rebuilding phase for two or three years. I think that Ben Cherington and the front office staff, as much as it was disappointing to see some of the guys go, I think they did the right thing in getting the right pieces to move forward in 2015.”

For more Red Sox news, go to the team page at weei.com/redsox.

Read More: Clay Buchholz, Jon Lester, Red Sox, Tim Wakefield
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