|Friday’s Red Sox-Blue Jays matchups: Felix Doubront vs. Henderson Alvarez||09.07.12 at 9:46 am ET|
The Red Sox will look to bounce back from their catastrophic West Coast road trip as they send Felix Doubront to the mound to open a weekend series against the Blue Jays at Fenway Park.
Doubront (10-7, 5.03 ERA) has faced the Blue Jays three times this season, posting a 1-1 record with 4.67 ERA against them over 17 1/3 innings. His last outing against Toronto came on June 25, where he took the loss after giving up five runs over six innings, the worst of the three starts. At the beginning of June, Doubront had much greater success against the Jays, lasting 6 1/3 innings and giving up two earned runs while striking out seven.
While Doubront’s numbers against Toronto aren’t disastrous, the Blue Jays lineup has hit him well over the course of hi brief career. Against the lineup he will see Friday, Doubront has a .306 batting average against along with an .860 OPS against. Those numbers are slightly skewed by the fact that Doubront has dominated Toronto’s Rajai Davis and Adam Lind, having yet to allow either to reach base in 13 plate appearances. The rest of the lineup is batting .405 against Doubront.
Doubront’s last outing was an abysmal affair in Oakland: five earned runs over three innings with a home run in a 7-1 A’s win. The outing was the shortest of the season for Doubront, who hasn’t earned a victory since July 18 against the White Sox.
Making his fifth start of the season against the Red Sox on Friday will be 22-year-old Henderson Alvarez (7-12, 5.04 ERA). Against the Red Sox this season, Alvarez is 2-1 with a 5.87 ERA, with most of the damage coming in his last start against them on July 22. Alvarez gave up seven runs over 5 2/3 innings but earned the win as the Toronto lineup went nuts against Jon Lester in a 15-7 beatdown.
Outside of Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury, both of whom are batting .333 against Alvarez, the Red Sox have pretty lackluster numbers against the Jays hurler. That much can’t be said about the rest of the American League, which seems to have solved the young Venezuelan, despite the fact that his ERA hasn’t reached the point of John Lackey circa 2011. Currently, Alvarez’s .842 OPS-against ranks second among qualified starts according to ESPN.
After shutting down opposing lineups early on this season, posting a 2.62 ERA over his first eight starts of 2012, Alvarez has fallen to earth as his ERA has steadily risen over the course of the season. The young righty has been particularly spotty since the beginning of August, posting a 7.67 ERA over his last six starts.
Alvarez enters Friday’s game coming off of three consecutive rough outings, giving up a combined 16 runs over 12 2/3 innings (an 11.37 ERA). He also surrendered four home runs during that stretch, giving him 25 on the season, tied for the sixth-most in the AL this season.
Blue Jays vs. Doubront (LHP)
Kelly Johnson (11 plate appearances): .300 BA/.364 OBP/.200 SLG, 2 RBIs, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts
Edwin Encarnacion (10): .500/.600/.625, 1 double, 2 RBIs, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts
Yunel Escobar (9) .375/.444/.375, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
Rajai Davis (8): .000/.000/.000, 1 RBI, 3 strikeouts
Colby Rasmus (8): .375/.375/1.000
Adam Lind (5): .000/.200/.000, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts
Jeff Mathis (3): .667/.667/1.667, 1 home run, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout
Red Sox vs. Alvarez (RHP)
Dustin Pedroia (12 plate appearances): .333 BA/.333 OBP/.750 SLG, 1 triple, 1 home run, 1 RBI
Jarrod Saltalamacchia (11): .091/.091/.091, 1 RBI, 2 strikeouts
Jacoby Ellsbury (9): .333/.333/.778, 1 double, 1 home run, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout
Mike Aviles (8): .286/.250/.429, 1 double, 2 RBIs, 2 strikeouts
Cody Ross (7): .286/.286/.429, 1 double
Scott Podsednik (3): .000/.000/.000,
Ryan Kalish (2): .500/.500/.500, 1 double
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