|Friday’s Red Sox-Indians matchups: Clay Buchholz vs. Chris Seddon||08.10.12 at 9:22 am ET|
At a quick glance, Clay Buchholz’s 4.48 ERA is alarming. It’s the righty’s highest ERA since 2008 – when he logged just 15 starts – and although it’s the best one on the starting rotation this season, it’s not saying much next to the likes of Josh Beckett and Jon Lester, both of whom are having career-worst seasons.
But if you erase his cumulative 2012 ERA from your evaluation of Buchholz, you’ll likely come out much more satisfied, especially looking at his performances throughout his last four starts. During that span, Buchholz has suddenly become the Red Sox’ most reliable starter, going 1-0 with a 1.20 ERA and 14 strikeouts. With some run and bullpen support, Buchholz easily could have earned wins in each of those starts.
Such was the case in his last outing against the Twins on Saturday, when he may have put together his best performance of this four-game run. In that one, he finished with seven innings, giving up seven hits, one run – which was unearned – with 16 ground ball outs as he left the game with a 2-1 lead and in line for the victory.
However, the bullpen blew it for Buchholz. Andrew Miller began the eighth by loading the bases before Alfredo Aceves relieved him and gave up a sacrifice fly that tied the game. Then, in the ninth, after the Sox regained the lead, Aceves yielded four runs to the Twins, including Joe Mauer’s game-winning three-run home run as the Twins ran away with a 6-4 victory..
On Friday night, Buchholz will try to get back in the win column when the Sox play the Indians in the second game of their road trip. In four career starts against Cleveland, Buchholz is 1-1 with a 5.32 ERA. He last faced the Indians on May 11, when he went 6 1/3 innings and gave up four runs – three earned – on eight hits en route to a 7-5 victory.
On the other side, Chris Seddon will take the hill for the Indians, aiming to bounce back after a difficult first start of the season on Aug. 5. Against the Tigers, Seddon pitched 4 1/3 innings and gave up four earned runs on seven hits as the Indians lost, 10-8.
After being drafted in 2001, Seddon was a career minor leaguer until getting his major league debut in 2007. Since then, he’s switched teams and gone up and down between the majors and minors several times. Before this season, Seddon, primarily a relief pitcher, had only started four games, all with the Marlins in 2007, when he posted an 0-2 record with an 8.83 ERA.
In three appearances against the Red Sox, Seddon is 1-0 in 4 2/3 innings, the last of which came on Sept. 15, 2010, when he pitched an inning of relief in a 5-1 loss as a member of the Mariners.
Red Sox vs. Seddon (RHP)
Jarrod Saltalamacchia has one walk in one plate appearance against Seddon.
Indians vs. Buchholz (RHP)
Casey Kotchman (14 plate appearances): .429 BA/.429 OBP/.643 SLG, 3 doubles, 1 strikeout
Shin-Soo Choo (9): .167/.444/.333, 1 double, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts
Asdrubal Cabrera (7): .400/.571/1.000, 1 home run, 1 RBI, 2 walks
Michael Brantley (6): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout
Travis Hafner (6): .333/.333/.333
Jack Hannahan (6): .400/.500/.600, 1 double, 1 walk
Lou Marson (5): .000/.200/.000, 1 walk
Jason Kipnis (4): .500/.500/.500
Carlos Santana (3): .500/.667/.500, 1 RBI, 1 walk
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