In Tim Wakefield's first season in the big leagues, the Red Sox and Yankees both finished with losing records (soak that in for a few blissful seconds). And the Brewers finished a close second in the American League East, four games behind the Blue Jays.

Yeah, Wakefield's not young. He wasn't then, debuting with the Pirates in 1992 at 25 years old, and he's not now. But he is going to the All-Star Game for the first time, weeks after passing Roger Clemens for the most starts in Red Sox history.

Before he beat the A's on Wednesday for win No. 11 this season, SportsNation wasn't entirely sure he belonged in St. Louis. And despite some well-placed lobbying (listen to Tim Kurkjian on "Mike and Mike," left) voters aren't buying him as the American League starter.

But despite becoming one of the oldest pitchers to win 11 games this early, he has at least two more good seasons, as the 'Nation sees it.


Chris Tillman pitched 6 shutout innings [Wednesday]. He has pitches 13 consecutive shutout innings now. We are going to see this guy very soon. I can feel it. Tillman is going to get the call up and Matusz will be promoted to AAA. Patience O's fans. They are coming.

-- nebula25r

major league pitchers dont just stumble by accident on 11 wins at this point in the season. I watched Wakefield pitch against the Tigers in Detroit last season, sat near behind the plate and watching this guys pitches come toward the batter was just silly, the ball did look weak and lifeless but it moved so oddly that its gotta throw off big league hitters timing, obviously to the point of 11 wins at that!

-- KaneBowman

Since Matsui has gotten on track, things are backed up again but, as I've been saying all along, I would like to see Cervelli/Molina doing the MAJORITY of the catching... Posada is weak defensively AND he seems to have gotten worse at calling games... He's already just a DH that they keep telling to play catcher...

-- KapteinStoertebeker

Considering the way we've been playing we're lucky to be 5.5 games back. So, lets's get some home cooking W's this week and close that gap a little before the AllStar break. Go Rays!

-- 23witness

The Jays are on the verge of becoming less relevant than the Montreal Expos in Canada if don't they start showing a, and with apologies to Al Davis, "commitment to excellence" and not a "commitment to mediocrity".

-- RapsJaysBucs

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