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Red Sox vs. Blue Jays Match-ups, 7/17

07.17.09 at 12:53 pm ET
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RED SOX VS. RICKY ROMERO

The 44-46 Blue Jays, amidst rumors that they could be dealing their ace, apparently have a man who could anchor the rotation in the eventual absence of Roy Halladay. Just 24 years old, Ricky Romero has been stellar for the Blue Jays and could be AL Rookie of the Year despite battling a right oblique muscle strain.

In 13 starts this season, the left-handed Romero has gone 7-3 with a 3.00 ERA and has 69 strikeouts in 87 innings. One could say the young man has been dominant.

Just not against the Red Sox.

On May 31 at Fenway, Romero gave up five earned in his only start against Boston to date, an 8-2 loss. Dustin Pedroia did most of the damage, hitting a three-run dinger with two out in the fourth, which proved to be Romero’s last inning of the game. That loss dropped his record to 2-2, but he’s gone 5-1 and pitched at least 6 1/3 innings in all eight starts since then. He’s pitched at least seven in all but two of those and has gone eight in two of the last three.

Romero, drafted sixth overall by Toronto in 2005, uses a slider and a 12-6 curve to compliment a low-90′s fastball. Here’s how Red Sox hitters did against him back in May:

Jason Bay (3 career plate appearances vs. Romero): 1-for-1, double, 2 BB
J.D. Drew (3): 1-for-3, 2 SO
Dustin Pedroia (3): 1-for-3, homer, 3 RBI
Kevin Youkilis (3): 1-for-2, homer, RBI, BB
Jacoby Ellsbury (2): 1-for-1
Nick Green (2): 0-for-1, BB, SO
David Ortiz (2): 1-for-2, double
Jason Varitek (2): 0-for-1, BB

BLUE JAYS VS. CLAY BUCHHOLZ

If there’s a single baseball fan in the country (actually, make that Canada, too) who doesn’t know who is starting for the Red Sox tonight, I am astonished. After months of re-establishing himself as a pitcher in Pawtucket, Clay Buchholzis finally making his first start of the season for the Sox.

‘€œIt’€™s hard to sit here and try to do more than what I’€™ve been doing,’€ said Buchholz of his Pawtucket situation back in early June. ‘€œI don’€™t think I need to do any more. It’€™s just a matter of, when the time comes, for me to be ready whenever they do give me that call.’€

The time has finally come, though it won’t last long at all. Terry Francona indicated on Sunday that it would simply be a spot-start to give the rotation an extra day of rest.

Buchholz’ situation is an interesting one. Everyone knows about his no-no in his second start in ’07, but Buchholz himself believes that he should not have been in the big-league rotation in 2008 because he still wasn’t ready. Buchholz was proven right, and the results weren’t pretty:  a 2-9 record with a 6.75 ERA.

In 16 games for Pawtucket this season (including a relief appearance for John Smoltz), Buchholz has posted a 2.36 ERA to go with a 7-2 record. He has 85 strikeouts in 93 innings and a WHIP of 0.95. Here’s how Blue Jays hitters have fared against him.

Kevin Millar (7 career plate appearances vs. Buchholz): 0-for-5, 2 BB, 4 SO
Vernon Wells (6): 0-for-4, 2 BB
Alex Rios (5): 1-for-5, double, SO
Aaron Hill (4): 1-for-4, 2 SO
Lyle Overbay (4): 2-for-4, RBI, SO
Adam Lind (2): 1-for-2, SO
Marco Scutaro (2): 0-for-1, SO, BB
Rod Barajas (1): walk
John McDonald (1): 1-for-1, double, RBI

Here’s a Full Count “Did You Know?”: The Red Sox were the only team in the majors who planned on drafting Buchholz as a pitcher in 2005. They stuck to their guns and took him with a sandwich pick (Pedro Martinez) and the rest is history.

Read More: Buchholz, Halladay, Romero,
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