The Red Sox emerged victorious in a 13-12 slugfest Monday night. Might we see a pitcher’s duel in Toronto on Tuesday?
Boston’s starter, Clay Buchholz, has the track record against the Blue Jays do pull it off. Toronto was the team that Buchholz saw the most last season, and he performed well against the AL East foe, going 3-1 with a 3.60 ERA in his four starts with 20 strikeouts. In fact, Buchholz let up just one earned run in each of his three victories over Toronto last season.
But the one loss came in one of his worst performances of the year on Sept. 29, when he allowed seven earned runs in five innings on work. More troublesome than that, however, was the five home runs that the Jays smacked off of the right-hander, including two from Adam Lind.
Despite his 1-2 record in his three starts, Buchholz has probably been Boston’s best starter ‘ he has a 2.70 ERA and 18 strikeouts ‘ and the Sox could use a solid performance from him after taxing the bullpen on Monday.
The Jays will counter with Shaun Marcum, who is 0-1 with a 4.00 ERA in his first four starts of the 2010 season. Toronto’s Opening Day starter missed all of the 2009 season as he recovered from Tommy John surgery, but he has appeared in 11 games against Boston as both a starter and a reliever, six of those as a starter.
Marcum made three starts against Boston in 2008, going 2-1 with a 5.17 ERA. That stat was inflated by his last outing against the Sox, when he lasted just 3-2/3 innings and gave up five earned runs. The week before that game he let up just one run on five hits in five innings in a start at Fenway, and also pitched well in his first start of the year against the Sox, going seven innings and striking out eight while allowing three runs.
Red Sox vs. Shaun Marcum
David Ortiz (19 career at bats against Marcum): .143 average/.368 OBP/.143 slugging, 5 walks, 5 strikeouts
Kevin Youkilis (17): .235/.235/.529, 1 home run, 7 strikeouts
Adrian Beltre (15): .462/.533/1.077, 2 doubles, 2 home runs, 2 walks, 1 strikeout
Dustin Pedroia (14): .077/.071/.308, 1 home run, 1 strikeout
Mike Lowell (13): .385/.385/.615, 1 triple, 1 strikeout
Jason Varitek (13): .400/.538/.400, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts
Victor Martinez (12): .500/.583/1.250, 3 doubles, 1 home run, 3 walks, 1 strikeout
J.D. Drew (11): .222/.364/.667, 1 home run, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts
Marco Scutaro is 2-2 vs. Marcum in his career, while Bill Hall, Jeremy Hermida and Darnell McDonald have never seen the Jays starter.
Blue Jays vs. Clay Buchholz
Aaron Hill (17 career at bats against Buchholz): .235 average/.235 OBP/.412 slugging, 1 home run, 3 strikeouts
Lyle Overbay (16): .429/.500/.500, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts
Vernon Wells (15): .167/.333/.167, 3 walks, 1 strikeout
Adam Lind (14): .357/.357/.857, 2 home runs, 2 strikeouts
Jose Bautista (9): .250/.333/.625, 1 home run, 1 walk, 2 srikeouts
Travis Snider (7): .143/.143/.143, 5 strikeouts
John McDonald (6): .167/.167/.333, 1 double, 2 strikeouts
Jose Molina (5): .333/.400/.667, 1 double, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
Buchholz has faced John Buck, Edwin Encarnacion and Randy Ruiz three times. Ruiz is the only one to have a hit, while Buck was hit by a pitch in one at bat. Alex Gonzalez and Mike McCoy have never faced the Boston starter.