|Saturday’s Red Sox-Mariners matchups: Josh Beckett vs. Felix Hernandez||08.13.11 at 11:07 am ET|
Undoubtedly the featured game in the series, both Boston and Seattle will send their respective aces to the mound in hopes of victory. Boston’s Josh Beckett enters the game 9-4 with a 2.17 ERA, good for second-best in the American League. He is 0-1 in his last three starts with a 2.84 ERA and 20 strikeouts, including a dominating performance against the Yankees Sunday.
Beckett threw six solid innings in that game, allowing one run on six hits. He earned a no-decision. One of the most consistent pitchers in baseball this season, Beckett has allowed three or less earned runs in 20 of his 22 starts in 2011. Additionally, the three-time All-Star has lasted at least six innings in all but two of his starts, one of which was due to a fifth inning rain delay. In addition to his near-best ERA Beckett ranks second in the AL in WHIP and hits per nine innings.
The Mariners will counter by sending “King Felix“ Hernandez to the hill Saturday. Hernandez (10-10, 3.31 ERA) has been given little run support throughout the season and has had many quality outings result in either losses or no-decision. He picked up a loss on Sunday against the Angels despite throwing a complete game, four-hitter with no walks and 12 strikeouts. Incredibly, it was his third outing this year with double-digit strikeouts and no walks this season. No other hurler has accomplished the feat more than once.
Hernandez has however struggled at times in his career against Red Sox hitters. Four Boston batters enter Saturday’s game with a batting average of at least .300 against the hard-throwing right-hander including Adrian Gonzalez who has team-highs of three extra-base hits and six RBIs. As a whole, current Red Sox batters are hitting .263 against Hernandez, with a .315 on-base percentage, .339 slugging percentage, three home runs and eight doubles, in 224 at-bats.
Beckett, on the other hand, has dominated against current Mariners batters. Excluding Jamey Wright and Mike Carp who are a combined 2-for-5 against the 2003 ALCS MVP, Jack Wilson leads Seattle with a .250 batting average. Ichiro Suzuki is next with a .222 average. His on-base percentage is only slightly better, at .250. Overall, current Mariners batters are hitting .181 with a .209 on-base percentage, .265 slugging percentage, two home runs and one double in 83 at-bats.
Red Sox vs. Hernandez
Adrian Gonzalez (36 plate appearances): .303 BA/.361 OBP/.455 SLG, 1 home run, 2 doubles, 6 RBIs, 3 walks, 9 strikeouts
Marco Scutaro (29): .250/.276/.286, 1 double, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts
Carl Crawford (28): .296/.321/.333, 1 double, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts
Dustin Pedroia (28): .360/.429/.400, 1 double, 1 RBI, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts
David Ortiz (25): .238/.360/.429, 1 home run, 1 double, 4 RBIs, 4 walks, 5 strikeouts
Jarrod Saltalamacchia (20): .211/.250/.263, 1 double, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts
Kevin Youkilis (20): .278/.350/.278, 4 RBIs, 2 walk, 3 strikeouts
Jacoby Ellsbury (19): .222/.263/.389, 1 home run, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts
Jason Varitek (16): .133/.188/.133, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts
Jed Lowrie (9): .111/.111/.111/.111, 5 strikeouts
Mike Aviles (8): .375/.375/.500, 1 double, 1 RBI, 2 strikeouts
Josh Reddick (3): .333/.333/.333
Darnell McDonald has not faced the Settle starter.
Mariners vs. Beckett
Ichiro Suzuki (28): .222/.250/.222, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
Franklin Gutierrez (16): .133/.188/.333, 1 home run, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts
Adam Kennedy (15): .200/.200/.267, 1 double, 1 RBI, 2 strikeouts
Jack Wilson (8): .250/.250/.250, 3 strikeouts
Justin Smoak (6): .000/.167/.000, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
Josh Bard (5): .000/.000/.000, 2 strikeouts
Miguel Olivo (4): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout
Mike Carp (3): .333/.333/1.333, 1 home run, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout
Jamey Wright (2): .500/.500/.500, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout
Luis Rodriguez and Casper Wells have not faced the Boston starter.
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