Tim Wakefield Career Stats

Tim Wakefield had one of the most unique careers of any pitcher in MLB history. He was best known for his mastery of the knuckleball, a notoriously difficult pitch to control that very few have mastered. 

While his journey to becoming an MLB knuckleball specialist was an unlikely one, Wakefield went on to have an extremely successful 19-year career.

Introduction To Tim Wakefield’s Baseball Career

Tim Wakefield, as detailed in his ‘Tim Wakefield Bio,’ was born in 1966 in Melbourne, Florida. He was drafted in 1988 by the Pittsburgh Pirates as a first baseman. 

After struggling to progress through the minor league system as a position player, Wakefield converted to pitching in 1989 and began developing the knuckleball.

After struggling to progress through the minor league system as a position player, Wakefield converted to pitching in 1989 and began developing the knuckleball.

He made his MLB debut with the Pirates in 1992 at age 26. The next year he had a breakout season, going 16-8 with a 2.95 ERA and finishing third in Cy Young voting. 

Wakefield went on to spend 17 seasons with the Boston Red Sox starting in 1995, serving a variety of roles from starter to reliever.

Let’s dive into Wakefield’s career stats and see how the knuckleballer compiled impressive numbers over 19 seasons in the majors.

Longevity And Durability: 19 Seasons And Over 3,000 Innings Pitched

One of the most impressive aspects of Wakefield’s career was his longevity and durability. He compiled over 3,000 innings pitched across 19 major league seasons spanning 1992 to 2011.

Wakefield ranks 87th all-time in MLB history with 3,006 innings pitched. He is one of only 15 pitchers during the expansion era (since 1961) to reach 3,000 innings.

Remaining effective and averaging over 150 innings per season into his 40s is a testament to Wakefield’s knuckleball mastery. 

The fluttery, off-speed pitch placed less strain on his arm compared to traditional pitchers, allowing Wakefield to achieve extended durability.

Consistent Production And Era Of 4.41 Over Two Decades

While Wakefield’s average season stats may not jump off the page, his consistent production over 19 seasons is remarkable. He compiled 200 wins and a 4.41 ERA over 430 starts.

Wakefield won at least 10 games in 15 of his 19 seasons, demonstrating his value as an innings-eater who reliably took the ball every fifth day. He twice led the American League in starts, including making 35 starts at age 42 in 2008.

Considering the ups and downs most knuckleball pitchers experience, Wakefield’s achieving a 4.41 ERA and 1.35 WHIP over two decades exemplifies his mastery of the capricious pitch.

Off the field, Wakefield has been happily married to Tim Wakefield’s Wife Stacy Wakefield since 1993.

Impressive Strikeout Numbers From The Knuckleballer

Knuckleball pitchers are not known for racking up high strikeout totals. The dancing, and unpredictable movement of the pitch makes it hard to control. However, Wakefield found ways to consistently generate strikeouts while minimizing walks.

Wakefield finished with 2,046 strikeouts over 3,006 career innings. He had a 6.6 K/9 rate that was well above average for a knuckleballer. Wakefield reached 140+ strikeouts in 10 different seasons.

Those strikeout totals are even more impressive considering Wakefield’s below-average walk rate. He had a 3.8 BB/9 rate and 1.28 strikeout-to-walk ratio, demonstrating his ability to limit free passes.

Workhorse For The Red Sox With 30+ Starts In 12 Straight Seasons

After being released by the Pirates in 1995, Wakefield found a long-term home with the Boston Red Sox. He immediately became a workhorse and topped 200 innings for Boston in six of his first seven seasons.

From 1998 through 2009, Wakefield remarkably made at least 30 starts in 12 consecutive seasons for the Red Sox. He topped 15 wins eight times in that span and played a key role on both playoff and World Series teams.

Wakefield started Game 1 of the 1998 ALCS, Game 1 and Game 4 during Boston’s 2004 World Series run, and Game 4 of the 2007 World Series. His consistency and reliability were valued assets during Boston’s stretch of sustained success.

186 Career Wins And 2 World Series Rings With The Red Sox

Wakefield concluded his MLB career with exactly 200 wins over 430 starts. 186 of those wins came as a member of the Red Sox, making Wakefield the franchise’s all-time leader in wins by a pitcher.

He compiled a 4.30 ERA during 17 seasons in Boston while reaching double-digit wins 13 times. Wakefield only had one losing season with the Red Sox despite playing through four different decades.

Wakefield was a member of the 2004 and 2007 World Series Champion Boston Red Sox teams. He finally earned a World Series ring in 2004 after 12 years of MLB service, rewarding him for his longevity and perseverance.

What Was Wakefield’s Final Career Era And Strikeout Total?

Wakefield finished with a 4.41 ERA, 2,046 strikeouts, and exactly 200 wins over 3,006 innings pitched.

How Many 200+ Inning Seasons Did Wakefield Have?

Wakefield pitched over 200 innings in a season 8 times, with a career-high of 219.1 innings in 1996.

Conclusion: Wakefield’s Unique Career As Mlb’s Modern Knuckleball Specialist

In conclusion, Tim Wakefield carved out a remarkable MLB career as the modern game’s greatest knuckleball pitcher. He overcame the odds by developing the tricky pitch after converting from first base and went on to surprising durability.

Wakefield’s career stats feature many impressive accomplishments like 200 wins, 2 World Series titles, longevity into his 40s, and consistently averaging 170+ innings and 10+ wins.

His knuckleball mastery allowed Wakefield to become a fan favorite and key contributor to winning Red Sox teams for nearly two decades.

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