|Friday’s Red Sox-Indians matchups: Clay Buchholz vs. Ubaldo Jimenez||05.11.12 at 9:56 am ET|
This has been a tough year for Clay Buchholz, who was tabbed as the third pitcher in the Red Sox’ rotation when the season started and was looking to bounce back from his injury-plagued 2011. He looks to get his season turned around against an Indians lineup that ranks 10th in the majors in runs scored.
Buchholz has an ugly 9.09 ERA but has received an average of 8.5 runs per game (7.40 per nine innings) from the Red Sox lineup. That has allowed him to accumulate a solid 3-1 record despite allowing five or more runs and six or more hits in every start.
In his last start against the Orioles on May 6, Buchholz had his shortest outing of the season, going only 3 2/3 innings while allowing seven hits and five runs, including three home runs. His poor effort put a big strain on the Red Sox bullpen, especially as the game ended up lasting 17 innings. The Red Sox used seven pitchers after Buchholz before using outfielder Darnell McDonald in an emergency situation in the 17th inning.
Current members of the Indians haven’t seen much of Buchholz. First baseman Casey Kotchman is 6-for-11 against Buchholz, the most at-bats and hits by any current Indians player. The Red Sox righty is 0-1 with a 5.71 ERA in three career starts against the Indians. The last time he faced Cleveland was May 23, 2011, at Progressive Field. He went 7 1/3 innings, allowing four hits and two runs in a 3-2 loss.
Cleveland will send Ubaldo Jimenez to the mound opposite Buchholz. The Indians acquired the former All-Star from the Rockies at the trade deadline last year to bolster their staff for a playoff push. Yet Jimenez was a bit of a disappointment with the Indians, going 4-4 with a 5.10 ERA in 11 starts after the trade.
Jimenez is 3-2 with a 4.04 ERA this year, and he finally seemed to regain his form with a seven-inning, two-hit, no-run, six-strikeout performance May 6 against the Rangers, earning him his first win since April 20. He did this against a Rangers team that currently ranks first in batting average and first in runs. Jimenez will need to be equally strong against a Red Sox team that ranks fourth in runs and fourth in batting average.
Since Jimenez was a National League pitcher for most of his career, not many Red Sox players have faced him. Former Padre Adrian Gonzalez has 32 appearances against Jimenez, recording just four hits, although two of those hits were home runs. Gonzalez has struck out 11 times against his former NL West rival.
Indians vs. Buchholz (RHP)
Casey Kotchman (11 plate appearances): .545 BA/.545 OBP/.818 SLG, 3 doubles, 1 strikeout
Johnny Damon (9): .125/.222/.250, 1 double, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
Shin-Soo Choo (6): .000/.333/.000, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts
Lou Marson (5): .000/.200/.000, 1 walk
Michael Brantley (3): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout
Asdrubal Cabrera (3): .667/.667/1.667, 1 home run, 1 RBI
Travis Hafner (3): .000/.000/.000
Jack Hannahan (3): .500/.667/.500, 1 walk
Red Sox vs. Jimenez (RHP)
Adrian Gonzalez (32 plate appearances): .154 BA/.313 OBP/.385 SLG, 2 home runs, 5 RBIs, 6 walks, 11 strikeouts
Cody Ross (6): .000/.333/.000, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts
Darnell McDonald (5): .400/.400/1.000, 1 home run, 2 RBIs, 2 strikeouts
David Ortiz (3): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout
Dustin Pedroia (3): .333/.333/.333, 2 strikeouts
Ryan Sweeney (3): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout
Nick Punto (2): .000/.000/.000, 2 strikeouts
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