It took forever, but Tim Wakefield finally got his 200th career win.

While it was a tough balancing act the past few weeks as Wake wasn’t pitching well and the Red Sox really needed wins, Tuesday night proved the perfect elixir as Wakefield won (as did the Red Sox of course) and the Rays lost giving Red Sox fans a double reason to cheer.

Wakefield’s arrival in Boston was an after thought. He’d excelled with Pittsburh in 1992, but couldn’t find the same magic a year later. Pittsburgh shelved him in AAA in 1994 where he was, well, not good. Given his release, Boston signed him and he went 16-8 in 1995 with the big league club.

I remember his first 3 months with the club were otherworldly, how did he do it? He dominated and basically put the Red Sox on his back, he pitched so well and so deep into games. He scuffled a bit in his last 2 months, but still posted a 2.95 ERA on the season.

The Red Sox made the playoffs for the first time in 5 years and to me, it was a new era in Red Sox baseball. For all the crap Dan Duquette gets around here, and some of it deservedly so (he isn’t Mr. Personality after all), he brought a “process” to the baseball side of things. No more dart throwing. He introduced, heaven forbid, some study and reason behind his decisions.

While tonight is a great night, I’m not going to get carried away. Wakefield is no HOF player, but he has been both a dependable, durable pitcher and great for the Red Sox community having been nominated 8 times for MLB’s Roberto Clemente Award, winning it in 2010.

Here’s to you Timmy.