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Monday’s Red Sox-Twins matchups: Clay Buchholz vs. Vance Worley

05.06.13 at 9:40 am ET
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Clay Buchholz

Clay Buchholz will aim to continue his dominant start to the season against the Twins on Monday as the Sox return home from trips to Toronto and Texas. Vance Worley will start for the Rangers in the 7:10 p.m. game.

Buchholz has been one of the best starters in baseball over the first month of the season. His 1.01 ERA is the best in the majors, and his 0.96 WHIP is fifth best in the American League.

He is stranding an uncommonly high number of baserunners — 91.4 percent compared to the league average of 73.4 percent — and that number likely will come down as the season goes on. But he’s also striking out 9.47 batters per nine innings, and he’s consistently pitching deep into games. All of his starts have lasted at least seven innings.

After Buchholz beat the Blue Jays in Toronto on May 1 — striking out eight, walking three and shutting out the Jays over seven innings — Toronto broadcasters Jack Morris and Dirk Hayhurst suggested that Buchholz was using an illegal substance to doctor the ball.

Sox manager John Farrell called the accusations “unfounded”, and Buchholz said he was just using rosin to help him grip the ball.

Buchholz has made five career starts against the Twins, with mediocre results. He has a 1.45 WHIP and a 4.25 ERA against them in 29 2/3 innings. Last season he saw them twice, pitching 12 1/3 innings and giving up six runs (five earned) on 17 hits and four walks.

Worley’s season has been the opposite of Buchholz’ in just about every way. He’s tied for the worst ERA in the majors, 7.22, and owns the worst WHIP, 1.92, through six starts. He’s struck out just 17 batters in 28 2/3 innings and is averaging less than five innings per start, although that average is dragged down somewhat by his worst outing, in which he gave up nine runs (seven earned) in just one inning against the Mets on April 12.

Last time out, Worley made it through just 4 2/3 innings against the Tigers, giving up six runs on 10 hits and a walk as the Twins lost, 6-1, on April 30.

Worley has faced the Red Sox only once, as a Phillie back in 2011. He lasted seven innings and gave up just one run, striking out five as the Phillies won, 2-1.

The current Sox have barely seen Worley at all — this is his first season in the AL, and none have faced him more than three times. The Twins are slightly more familiar with Buchholz, and Justin Morneau is hitting .500 against him in 14 plate appearances with an RBI.

Twins vs. Buchholz (RHP)

Justin Morneau (14): .500/.500/.500, 1 RBI

Joe Mauer (12): .300/.417/.400, 1 double, 1 RBI, 2 walks

Jamey Carroll (9): .167/.444/.167, 2 walks

Trevor Plouffe (5): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout

Ryan Doumit (3): .333/.333/.333, 1 single

Brian Dozier (3): .333/.333/.333, 1 strikeout

Eduardo Escobar (3): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout

Chris Parmelee (3): .500/.667/.500, 1 walk

Josh Willingham (3): .667/.667/1.000, 1 double

Oswaldo Arcia, Pedro Florimon, Aaron Hicks and Wilkin Ramirez have never faced Buchholz.

Red Sox vs. Worley (RHP)

Jacoby Ellsbury (3): .000 BA/.000 OBP/.000 SLG

David Ortiz (3): .333/.333/.667, 1 strikeout

Dustin Pedroia (3): .333/.333/.333, 1 strikeout

Jarrod Saltalamacchia (3): .000/.333/.000, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts

Mike Carp (2): .000/.500/.000, 1 walk

Pedro Ciriaco, Stephen Drew, Jonny Gomes, Will Middlebrooks, Mike Napoli, Daniel Nava, David Ross and Shane Victorino have never faced Worley.

Read More: Clay Buchholz, Minnesota Twins, Vance Worley,
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