"Yeah, it did cross my mind after six or seven starts," Wakefield said. "I kept telling myself that the milestone doesn't determine me as a person."
It took eight starts, plus a relief outing, but Wakefield finally did it. He gave away 2-0 and 4-3 leads against the Toronto Blue Jays, but ultimately, the 45-year-old knuckleballer made it through six innings and picked up the win in the Red Sox's 18-6 victory at Fenway Park.
Wakefield is the 108th member of the 200-win club, only the 89th since 1900.
After the game, the Red Sox celebrated with champagne in the clubhouse, and the celebration spilled over to the field, where fans weren't willing to leave Fenway Park until Wakefield appeared.
"I've always said I've been very grateful to wear this uniform as long as I have," Wakefield said.
"I've been very fortunate to live out a dream I had as a kid. I'm just thankful that it happened tonight, and I'm very grateful that it happened in front of our home crowd. The standing ovation I got when I walked off the mound in the fifth and in the sixth and to be able to go back out after the game was over with and share it with the 38,000 that were still here -- very special."
The Red Sox needed the victory after their lead over the Rays in the wild-card standings had dropped from eight games to three in the span of one week. It was fitting, then, that Wakefield was on the mound to record the decision.
"We all wanted it bad for him," catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia said.
"For me personally, I wanted it more than him probably because that was just like anxiety every time out there. I'm proud of him, it's an honor for me to be able to be back there and catch him, get that 200th win and just be a part of history. Just to see what he's done in his career, pitched as long as he's pitched, and being able to finally get this, it makes you feel good. It gives you goose bumps. After we scored a few runs, I had goose bumps the rest of the game."
Red Sox Injury News
--RHP Bobby Jenks' injury saga has turned downright scary. In the course of being treated for a persisting lower back problem, the Red Sox reliever recently was diagnosed with a small pulmonary embolism, manager Terry Francona disclosed Tuesday. Jenks is receiving medication for the blockage of the lungs, and the Red Sox expect him to make a full recovery. Nevertheless, his season is over.
"This was a very small -- I mean, this is still nothing to mess around with, but it's very small -- embolism. They have it under control," Francona said. "Certainly, they want it to go away, but I think they feel that he's in good shape."
Jenks has made three trips to the disabled list for a right biceps strain and back tightness, and he hasn't pitched since July 7. In only 19 appearances, he posted a 6.32 ERA.
--RHP Josh Beckett (sprained right ankle) has been cleared to start, likely Friday night, in an all-important series against the Rays. "Sometimes guys go out and throw and come back and say, 'It's just not right,'" manager Terry Francona said. "He was pretty gung-ho that he was OK. And you get to know guys, too. When Josh isn't right, he'll let you know. So, when he says he's good, that's a good sign." Beckett hasn't pitched since leaving the Sept. 5 game in the fourth inning with the ankle injury. An MRI exam last week confirmed he didn't suffer any tendon damage in his ankle or Achilles. For good measure, he met with Dr. George Theodore, a foot specialist, before Tuesday night's game.
--DH David Ortiz was in the Red Sox's lineup, batting cleanup, Tuesday night against the Blue Jays. But when it came time for him to bat, he was unable to go to the plate because of the onset of back spasms. Ortiz was replaced by Jed Lowrie. "He went to swing, and it really got tight, so we had to scratch him," manager Terry Francona said. "Just muscle spasms, but he got really tight."
--3B Kevin Youkilis returned to the lineup Tuesday night for the opener of a two-game series against the Blue Jays at Fenway Park. He missed the three games last weekend against the Rays in order to return to Boston and get treatment for a sports hernia and bursitis in his left hip. Youkilis admitted Tuesday that he will need offseason surgery to treat the hernia, but he intends to play through the pain for the remainder of the season.
"The bottom line for me is going out there and playing through it," Youkilis said before the game. "There's a lot of guys banged up here. I'm not the only individual here. In September, there are always a lot of guys hurting and feeling stuff."
--RF J.D. Drew (left shoulder impingement, fractured right middle finger) was transferred from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL, clearing a spot on the 40-man roster as the team promoted a number of minor-leaguers. However, Drew will be eligible to be activated as soon as Sunday.