Wednesday’s Red Sox-Tigers matchups: Jon Lester vs. Drew Smyly
|05.30.12 at 9:02 am ET|
Jon Lester will be looking to get back to a .500 record as he matches up with Tigers lefty Drew Smyly at Fenway Park on Wednesday night.
Lester, who has a 3-4 record through 10 starts, has struggled to find consistency this season, a trend that is represented by his last three starts. Lester had his best start of the season three starts ago, pitching a complete game and only allowing a single earned run in a win over the Mariners. However, his four runs allowed through six innings against the Phillies, and then seven runs allowed through four innings against the Rays in his last start leave the Red Sox looking for more out of their ace.
While Lester has allowed two fewer home runs through his first 10 starts this season than in 2011, he has struck out 22 fewer hitters and allowed six more runs to this point in the season. Lester also had a 3.68 ERA through his first 10 starts last season, while he has a 4.72 ERA entering Wednesday night’s game.
The Tigers have some hitters who have had some success against Lester in the past, as Miguel Cabrera has a .600 OBP through his first 15 plate appearances against the Red Sox lefty. Johnny Peralta has also hit well against Lester, hitting two home runs and batting .316 in his 24 plate appearances.
Lester’s opponent is new to the league, but Smyly started the season relatively unfazed by the major league hitters he faced. Smyly didn’t allow more than two runs through his first six starts of his career, but he has cooled off a bit recently, allowing four runs in each of his past three starts.
Smyly, a second-round pick by the Tigers in the 2010 draft, has been limited to six innings per start so far in his rookie season, and he has averaged just more than 92 pitches per start. However, in his last three starts he has only reached a maximum of five innings in each start, and he was lifted after 69 pitches in his start on May 14 against the White Sox.
Tigers vs. Lester (LHP)
Delmon Young (33 plate appearances): .214 BA/.273 OBP/.214 SLG, 2 RBIs, 3 walks, 7 strikeouts
Johnny Peralta (24): .316/.458/.684, 2 home runs, 5 walks, 5 strikeouts
Miguel Cabrera (15): .455/.600/.455, 4 walks
Gerald Laird (11): .182/.182/.273, 1 double, 4 strikeouts
Brennan Boesch (10): .200/.200/.400, 1 triple, 2 RBIs, 4 strikeouts
Prince Fielder (7): .333/.429/.333, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts
Ryan Raburn (6): .333/.333/.333, 3 strikeouts
Alex Avila (3): .333/.333/.667, 1 double, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout
Ramon Santiago (3): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout
Danny Worth (3): .500/.667/.500, 1 walk
Red Sox vs. Smyly (LHP)
No Red Sox batters have faced Smyly.
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