|Saturday’s Red Sox-Mariners matchups: Josh Beckett vs. Erasmo Ramirez||06.30.12 at 8:22 pm ET|
Beyond the early-season incident of going golfing while nursing an injured lat, Josh Beckett’s 2012 season has been one of extreme frustration, one full of wasted gem after wasted gem on the mound.
Beckett’s numbers imply anything but a resume worth of gems. He’s 4-7 with a 4.14 ERA and is 0-3 in his last three trips to the hill, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. In fact, in his last six starts, Beckett has pitched at least seven innings and produced four quality starts. And in his 12 total starts this season, only two can really be qualified as disastrous ones, and those occurred in the season-opener and May 10.
Since his last win on May 20, Beckett has lowered his ERA and allowed no home runs and just two walks across 29 innings over the course of four starts despite going 0-3 in them. On Saturday night, Beckett will look to build on that success and get back in the win column when he returns from the disabled list to take on a struggling Mariners team at Safeco Field. The right-hander was placed on the DL on June 16 with shoulder inflammation.
Historically speaking, Beckett is at his best when he faces the Mariners. He’s 7-1 with a 2.30 ERA in nine starts against them since becoming a member of the Red Sox in 2006. That includes his last start against them at Fenway Park on May 15, when he tossed a seven-inning shutout while allowing just four hits and collecting a season-high nine strikeouts en route to a 5-0 victory.
This season’s version of the Mariners may be one of the worst offensively that Beckett has seen in his career. The M’s rank 27th in batting average (.234), 29th in on-base percentage (.295) and 28th in slugging percentage (.366). Their best hitter statistically, Ichiro Suzuki, is hitting just .272 this season and they’re coming off of getting two-hit by Aaron Cook on Friday night.
Part of the reason that Beckett has been unsuccessful this season in finding the win column may be because of a lack of run support. In his seven losses, the Red Sox have scored a total of 12 runs, which is just 1.7 per game. They’ll try to turn that around against Erasmo Ramirez, who will make his fourth career start for the Mariners.
The rookie right-hander, who started the season as a reliever, is 0-2 with a 4.18 ERA. He made seven appearances before being sent down to Triple-A Tacoma in early May and then returned to Seattle on June 13 in a starter’s role. After two rough outings, the 22-year-old put together a gem on June 25 against the Athletics. He pitched eight innings, allowed just three hits, one run (earned) and struck out 10, but suffered the loss as the Mariners fell 1-0.
Red Sox vs. Ramirez (RHP)
No Red Sox have faced Ramirez.
Mariners vs. Beckett (RHP)
Ichiro Suzuki (34 plate appearances): .273 BA/.294 OBP/.364 SLG, 1 home run, 2 RBIs, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts
Chone Figgins (30): .308/.400/.385, 2 doubles, 1 RBI, 4 walks, 11 strikeouts
Dustin Ackley (9): .444/.444/.556, 1 double, 2 strikeouts
John Jaso (9): .000/.000/.000, 4 strikeouts
Justin Smoak (9): .000/.111/.000, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts
Michael Saunders (6): .400/.500/.600, 1 double, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts
Kevin Millwood (4): .000/.250/.000, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts
Miguel Olivo (4): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout
Brendan Ryan (4): .250/.250/.250, 1 strikeout
Munenori Kawasaki (3): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout
Jesus Montero (3): .000/.333/.000, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
Kyle Seager (3): .000/.000/.000
Casper Wells (2): .500/.500/2.000, 1 HR, 2 RBIs, 1 strikeout
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