|Saturday’s Red Sox-Blue Jays matchups: Clay Buchholz vs. Carlos Villanueva||09.15.12 at 9:59 am ET|
Following Friday night’s rematch of two starters that faced off in last week’s Red Sox-Blue Jays series, Saturday’s pitching matchup will feature another pair of starters who took the mound opposite each other in that series: Clay Buchholz and Carlos Villanueva.
The workhorse of the Red Sox rotation, Buchholz (11-6, 4.46 ERA) not only has had the best performances out of the team’s rotation down the stretch, but also has bared a heavy load of innings. In his last 10 starts, Buchholz has failed to pitched at least seven full innings just once and has limited the opposition to four runs or less in all but one outing as well.
Boasting a 3-4 record with a 3.32 ERA in the second half, Buchholz has stepped up to become the team’s ace down the stretch, and has been particularly effective against the Blue Jays, going 1-1 with a 3.24 ERA against them this year. Over the course of his career, Buchholz has been consistently dominant against Toronto, going 8-4 with a 2.71 ERA, averaging over six innings per appearance and holding the current Blue Jays lineup to a .183 batting average against.
Last week against the Blue Jays, Buchholz nearly went the distance, giving up a fourth run on a sacrifice fly with two outs in the bottom of ninth before being replaced by Junichi Tazawa. The final run would ultimately be the game-winner as the Blue Jays won 4-3, with Buchholz taking the loss.
Villanueva, meanwhile, earned a no decision in that outing, going six innings and giving up three earned runs, all three of which came off of home runs from Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia. The outing was very similar to Villanueva’s first start against the Red Sox this season, when he went 6 1/3 innings while giving up three runs, earning a win in the outing. Allowing up a run for every two innings against Boston is nothing new for Villanueva, whose career ERA against the Red Sox is right at 4.50, or a run every other inning.
Against the lineup that he will see Saturday, Villanueva has not pitched particularly well. In 63 collective plate appearances, the Red Sox are hitting .291 with an OPS of .971 against Villanueva. The three Sox that match up best against Villanueva are Pedroia, Ellsbury and Cody Ross, all of whom have OPS totals of at least 1.194 with at least eight plate appearances for each of them.
Red Sox vs. Villanueva (RHP)
Dustin Pedroia (11 plate appearances): .400 BA/.455 OBP/1.000 SLG, 2 home runs, 2 RBIs, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
Jacoby Ellsbury (9): .375/.444/.750, 1 home run, 4 RBIs, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
Cody Ross (8): .667/.750/1.000, 2 doubles, 2 walks
James Loney (7): .143/.143/.429, 1 triple, 1 strikeout
Scott Podsednik (7): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout
Jarrod Saltalamacchia (5): .200/.200/.800, 1 home run, 3 RBIs, 1 strikeout
Pedro Ciriaco (4): .250/.250/.250
Daniel Nava (4): .000/.500/.000, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts
Mike Aviles (3): .000/.000/.000
Ryan Kalish (3): .500/.667/.500, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
Ryan Lavarnway (2): .500/.500/1.000, 1 double
Blue Jays vs. Buchholz (RHP)
Adam Lind (34 plate appearances): .303 BA/.324 OBP/.515 SLG, 1 double, 2 home runs, 3 RBIs, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts
Jeff Mathis (16): .167/.313/.167, 2 RBIs, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts
Edwin Encarnacion (15): .071/.133/.071, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts
Yunel Escobar (14) .222/.462/.556, 1 home run, 1 RBI, 4 walks
Rajai Davis (13): .200/.385/.200, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts
J.P. Arencebia (11): .000/.000/.000, 3 strikeouts
Omar Vizquel (10): .143/.200/.143, 2 RBIs, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
Kelly Johnson (8): .000/.286/.000, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts
Brett Lawrie (8): .125/.125/.125
Colby Rasmus (8): 167/.286/.167, 1 strikeout
Anthony Gose (4): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout
Mike McCoy (4): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout
Adeiny Hechavarria (4): .333/.333/.333, 1 RBI
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