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Friday’s Red Sox-Blue Jays matchups: Daisuke Matsuzaka vs. Aaron Laffey

09.14.12 at 9:06 am ET
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Don’€™t worry if Friday’€™s pitching matchup between the Red Sox and Blue Jays seems like a repeat — it is. Less than a week after starting opposite each other in Boston, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Aaron Laffey will take to the mound as they open this weekend’s series in Toronto.

After a masterful first start off the disabled list, Mastuzaka (1-5, 7.20) took a step backward in his second start, lasting just 3 2/3 innings while giving up six runs. Last week against the Blue Jays in his third start since returning from injury, he took a giant leap backward. Matsuzaka recorded a scoreless first inning before imploding in the second, giving up five runs and recording one out (a sacrifice fly) before being replaced by Alfredo Aceves. The outing turned out to be as bad as the one in which he injured his neck against Oakland, except he recorded one more out and threw 42 pitches compared to 28 in that start. In comparison, Laffey pitched 4 2/3 innings opposite Matsuzaka and threw just 20 more pitches.

Despite his most recent outing, Matsuzaka has good numbers historically against the Blue Jays and pitched well against them earlier in the year. In his first start against the Jays on June 26, Matsuzaka lasted 5 2/3 innings and gave up one run in a 5-1 Sox win. In 14 career starts against Toronto, Matsuzaka is 7-2 with a 3.81 ERA.

Against the lineup he will see Friday, Matsuzaka has some strong individual matchups, as the Jays are batting a mere .206 against him with a .580 OPS. Adam Lind, who has faced Matsuzaka the most by far, has struggled against him, producing one of the few clean outs of the outing last Saturday. Against the lineup as a whole, Matsuzaka has largely maintained his control, walking five batters and hitting one in 104 plate appearances.

Unlike Matsuzaka, Laffey (3-5, 4.43 ERA) had a decent showing against the Red Sox in their most recent meeting. Laffey lasted only 4 2/3 innings but gave up two runs and was efficient, throwing 62 pitches in the start. A reliever for much of the season, Laffey hasn’€™t shown the ability to pitch deep into many games, throwing more than six innings in a start just once. The start was tied for Laffey’€™s shortest of the season but was also his first start back in the rotation after his second bullpen stint.

Before his most recent appearance against them, Laffey had been lights out in his two starts against the Red Sox this season. On June 26, his first start of the season after four relief appearances, Laffey went six scoreless innings in an eventual 5-1 loss. On July 20, Laffey had his best outing of the season, going seven shutout innings and earning the win in a 6-1 Jays victory.

The current Red Sox lineup has gotten on base as a decent .311 tick against Laffey, despite batting just .239 against him. Where Laffey has been particularly effective against the Red Sox is his ability to limit their power numbers. In 74 combined plate appearances, the Red Sox are slugging a collective .284 with just one extra base hit, a solo home run from Dustin Pedroia back in 2009.

Red Sox vs. Laffey (LHP)

Mike Aviles (15 plate appearances): .267 BA/.267 OBP/.267 SLG, 5 strikeouts

Dustin Pedroia (13): .273/.385/.545, 1 home run, 1 RBI, 2 walks

Jarrod Saltalamacchia (11): .400/.455/.400, 3 RBI, 1 walk

Jacoby Ellsbury (8): .250/.250/.250, 1 strikeout

Cody Ross (8): .143/.250/.143, 1 strikeout

Scott Podsednik (7): .167/.286/.167, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Pedro Ciriaco (6): .167/.167/.167, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout

Mauro Gomez (2): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout

Jose Iglesias (2): .000/.000/.000

Ryan Lavarway has walked twice in two appearances against Laffey.

Blue Jays vs. Matsuzaka (RHP)

Adam Lind (30 plate appearances): .138 BA/.167 OBP/.276 SLG, 1 double, 1 home run, 1 walk, 9 strikeouts

Yunel Escobar (14): .286/.286/.500, 1 home run, 2 RBIs, 1 strikeout

Edwin Encarnacion (11) .250/.455/.250, 1 RBI, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts

Rajai Davis (10): .333/.300/.667, 1 home run, 2 RBIs, 3 strikeouts

Kelly Johnson (10): .111/.200/.111, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts

Jeff Mathis (7): .000/.000/.000, 5 strikeouts

J.P. Arencebia (6): .000/.167/.000, 3 strikeouts

Omar Vizquel (6): .333/.333/.333, 1 RBI, 2 strikeouts

Colby Rasmus (5): .200/.200/.200, 1 strikeout

Brett Lawrie (3): .333/.333/.667, 1 RBI

Anthony Gose (1): 1.000/1.000/1.000, 2 RBIs

Adeiny Hechavarria (1): 1.000/1.000/2.000, 1 double, 1 RBI

Read More: aaron laffey, Daisuke Matsuzaka,
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