Felix Doubront surprises as first Red Sox starter to 10 wins
|07.19.12 at 6:28 am ET|
Felix Doubront is not the biggest name on the Red Sox pitching staff. He has not won a World Series-clinching game like Jon Lester or Josh Beckett. He has not pitched a no-hitter like Clay Buchholz.
But this season, Doubront has been the most consistent starter for Boston and is now the first of the staff to reach his tenth win.
“Felix Doubront has been our most consistent pitcher all year,” Bobby Valentine said. “Obviously he has 10 wins. Coming out of spring training, Vegas would have given you good odds that he would not be the first one on our staff to 10 wins. But he has been consistent.”
The Venezuelan lefty earned his tenth win on Wednesday night, capturing a 10-1 win over the White Sox after only allowing one run off four hits through six innings pitched.
Doubront struggled a little bit in the first inning, allowing three hits and a run. However, he settled into a groove as the game continued and only allowed one more hit over the subsequent five innings.
“My changeup was pretty good,” Doubront said about the outing. “I was fighting a little bit with the curveball, but mostly [used] the four-seam fastball just around the zone, just pitching for contact.”
Innings two through six showed Doubront’s ability to bounce back from when he has struggled, something he has been very good at to this point in the season. The first-year member of the Red Sox rotation has won each of the five games he has started following a loss.
Doubront is leading the team with 99 strikeouts on the season, and leads Red Sox pitchers that have started more than five games with his 4.24 ERA. The 24-year-old has pitched so consistently well this season that he is even surprising himself.
“A lot,” Doubront said when he was asked to gauge how surprising this season’s success is to him. “But since I came to spring training, I was working so hard to be here to be in this spot, just working to get more wins. And whatever happens, I want to keep fighting to get more wins.”
While Doubront has been surprised by his success, the same cannot be said about Bobby Valentine, who saw him making an impact on the team back in Spring Training.
“He caught my eye in his first bullpen that I saw because he was kind of off the radar,” Valentine said. “He had pitched in winter ball so he was a little ahead of the other guys, so it was easy for him to stand out. But he maintained really good bullpens as I remember, really good outings, four-inning outings – he was a slam dunk to make the team as far as I was concerned.”
If all he was expected to do was make the team, Doubront has certainly exceeded expectations on the season.
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