|Friday’s Red Sox-Mariners matchups: Joe Kelly vs. Felix Hernandez||08.22.14 at 8:33 am ET|
The Red Sox will close out their 11-game homestand when they host the Mariners for a three-game set at Fenway Park. Boston will send Joe Kelly to the mound against Seattle ace Felix Hernandez in the series opener Friday.
Kelly (0-1, 5.29 ERA) will be looking to rebound from a rough Fenway debut Sunday, as the righty gave up seven hits and seven earned runs while walking six in just four innings against the Astros.
“Plenty of stuff. Plenty of power. Plenty of action to his secondary pitches,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell when asked about Kelly’s outing after the game. “Just his command was not as its been in the first two outings for him.”
While Kelly has turned in both promising and discouraging outings during his brief Red Sox career, one recurring trend for the 26-year-old has been issues with command. Kelly has walked 13 batters in his last 17 innings of work.
Friday will stand as Kelly’s first career start against the Mariners.
Hernandez is the clear frontrunner to secure his second Cy Young Award this season, as the right-hander leads the league in ERA and WHIP (0.87) while ranking second in innings pitched (185 1/3), wins (13) and strikeouts (197).
|Tuesday’s Red Sox-Mariners matchups: Jake Peavy vs. Erasmo Ramirez||06.24.14 at 8:30 am ET|
While Peavy (1-5, 4.52 ERA) has not earned a win since April 25, he has been the victim of bad luck on multiple occasions. Peavy has only received 3.33 runs of support per game this season — the third-lowest mark in the American League — while Boston has only won four of the 10 games in which Peavy left with the team winning, tied or trailing by just one run.
In his last start Thursday against the Athletics, Peavy took the loss, giving up four runs (three earned) over 6 1/3 innings while throwing 117 pitches — his highest total since Sept. 5, 2013. It was the fifth consecutive loss for Peavy, equaling the longest losing streak of his career.
“Just physically I didn’t feel very good, to start,” Peavy said after the game. “Just not in sync. It’s no excuse, but I’m just stating the facts. Physically, I wasn’t good and on point there for a bit.”
Peavy’s last appearance against Seattle was on June 4, 2013, when the 2007 NL Cy Young Award winner was still a member of the White Sox. Peavy was rocked in that outing, surrendering six earned runs in just 2 1/3 innings. In 10 career starts against the Mariners, Peavy is 5-2 with a 3.03 ERA.
Ramirez (1-4, 4.62 ERA) has struggled of late, posting a 0-4 record with a 4.97 ERA over his last nine starts. The 24-year-old righty has not won a game since his first start of the season back on April 1.
|Red Sox-Mariners series preview||06.23.14 at 3:03 pm ET|
Boston is coming off a discouraging four-game set against the Athletics in which the Red Sox only scored six runs through the first three games. Saturday’s 2-1 loss marked the eighth straight game in which Boston had scored three runs or less.
The Red Sox finally broke out of their offensive drought Sunday, scoring seven runs and collecting 13 hits, but it took a 10th-inning home run from David Ortiz to give the Red Sox a win and prevent a sweep in the Bay Area.
“Despite the last three days, our guys are still fighting, they’re still putting together as tough at-bats as they can,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell after Sunday’s game. “This was a hard-fought series, and it’s good to salvage one out of it.”
After dropping two of three to the feeble Padres last week, the Mariners got back on track over the weekend, sweeping one of the hottest teams in baseball, the Royals, in three games.
In Sunday’s game, catcher Mike Zunino blasted a go-ahead solo home run in the seventh inning, giving Seattle a 2-1 lead that it would not relinquish.
“Whenever you put at-bats together or you’re playing well it’s one of those things that definitely carries over,” Zunino said. “It’s nice that we can turn around and play again [Monday against the Red Sox], and hopefully we can build on [Sunday].”
Here are the pitching matchups for the three-game series.
WHO’S HOT: RED SOX
– Lackey has been one of the few bright spots this season for the Red Sox. He has been the most consistent pitcher in the Boston rotation thus year, posting an 8-4 record with a 2.96 ERA. The 35-year-old righty has been even better in June – going 2-1 with a 2.27 ERA in four starts.
|Seattle GM: ‘No idea’ that Red Sox so close on Mike Napoli||12.03.12 at 11:41 am ET|
NASHVILLE, Tenn. ‘ Shortly after news that Mike Napoli had reached a three-year, $39 million agreement with the Red Sox, the general manager of one of the Sox’ chief competitors in the pursuit of the free agent, Jack Zduriencik of the Mariners, talked about missing out on the catcher/first baseman.
‘You never know,’ Zduriencik told WEEI.com at the Opryland Resort. ‘We had discussions with him, but at the end every player has to make their own decision, and I respect that. You never know if you’re close or not. You have good dialogue going, but in the end, who knows? At the end the player decides what he feels is best for him. Mike’s a great guy and it’s a good fit for Boston, so congrats.’
When asked he had any clue that Napoli was close to a deal with the Red Sox heading into the winter meetings, Zduriencik said, ‘I had no idea. None at all.’
|Sunday’s Red Sox-Mariners matchups: Felix Doubront vs. Jason Vargas||07.01.12 at 9:34 am ET|
Despite posting a 3-2 record in the month of June, Felix Doubront could welcome a turn of the calendar to July.
While the left-hander did improve his record to a team-best 8-4, it wasn’t the same Doubront that offered a hint of a possible All-Star selection early on in the season. He recorded an ERA of 5.87 in June, as he saw the number dip to 4.54 for the season, second-worst among Red Sox starters. He threw just one quality start during the month and allowed 7.6 hits per game, a number that increased after a forgettable start his last time out.
That came against the Blue Jays on Monday, when he threw six innings, allowed 11 hits, including two home runs, and seven runs (five earned) and struck only two to pick up his fourth loss of the season. Doubront, who leads the team with 87 strikeouts, hadn’t fanned two or less since May 7 when he struck out two at Kansas City.
The Venezuelan has never faced the Mariners and has only pitched against two of their players in his short big league career. He will oppose Jason Vargas, who also may greet the month of July with pleasure. He went 1-3 in five starts with a 7.87 ERA in June. He enters Sunday afternoon’s matchup with a 7-7 record and a 4.54 ERA for the season.
Vargas did well to rebound from a disastrous performance on June 20, when he lasted only 4 1/3 innings against the Diamondbacks and allowed nine hits and 10 runs (all earned) and gave up five home runs. Against the Athletics on Tuesday, he pitched 6 2/3 innings, giving up three hits and two runs (both earned) while striking out a season-high 10. It wasn’t enough to earn the win though, as he did not get a decision.
The 29-year-old lefty will go for his first win since June 4 against a Red Sox team that he’s 1-2 against with a 4.26 ERA in his career. His last start against the Sox came on May 14, when he lasted six innings, allowed seven hits and five runs (all earned) and struck out just three as he took the loss. The Red Sox roughed him early with a pair of runs in the first and they never looked back in a 6-1 victory.
In 72 career chances against current Sox batters, Vargas has allowed just a .250 batting average and struck out 10. In 12 plate appearances against Vargas, Adrian Gonzalez hits .364 while Kelly Shoppach has batted .444 with a home run in 10 chances.
|Saturday’s Red Sox-Mariners matchups: Josh Beckett vs. Erasmo Ramirez||06.30.12 at 8:22 pm ET|
Beyond the early-season incident of going golfing while nursing an injured lat, Josh Beckett‘s 2012 season has been one of extreme frustration, one full of wasted gem after wasted gem on the mound.
Beckett’s numbers imply anything but a resume worth of gems. He’s 4-7 with a 4.14 ERA and is 0-3 in his last three trips to the hill, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. In fact, in his last six starts, Beckett has pitched at least seven innings and produced four quality starts. And in his 12 total starts this season, only two can really be qualified as disastrous ones, and those occurred in the season-opener and May 10.
Since his last win on May 20, Beckett has lowered his ERA and allowed no home runs and just two walks across 29 innings over the course of four starts despite going 0-3 in them. On Saturday night, Beckett will look to build on that success and get back in the win column when he returns from the disabled list to take on a struggling Mariners team at Safeco Field. The right-hander was placed on the DL on June 16 with shoulder inflammation.
Historically speaking, Beckett is at his best when he faces the Mariners. He’s 7-1 with a 2.30 ERA in nine starts against them since becoming a member of the Red Sox in 2006. That includes his last start against them at Fenway Park on May 15, when he tossed a seven-inning shutout while allowing just four hits and collecting a season-high nine strikeouts en route to a 5-0 victory.
This season’s version of the Mariners may be one of the worst offensively that Beckett has seen in his career. The M’s rank 27th in batting average (.234), 29th in on-base percentage (.295) and 28th in slugging percentage (.366). Their best hitter statistically, Ichiro Suzuki, is hitting just .272 this season and they’re coming off of getting two-hit by Aaron Cook on Friday night.
Part of the reason that Beckett has been unsuccessful this season in finding the win column may be because of a lack of run support. In his seven losses, the Red Sox have scored a total of 12 runs, which is just 1.7 per game. They’ll try to turn that around against Erasmo Ramirez, who will make his fourth career start for the Mariners.
The rookie right-hander, who started the season as a reliever, is 0-2 with a 4.18 ERA. He made seven appearances before being sent down to Triple-A Tacoma in early May and then returned to Seattle on June 13 in a starter’s role. After two rough outings, the 22-year-old put together a gem on June 25 against the Athletics. He pitched eight innings, allowed just three hits, one run (earned) and struck out 10, but suffered the loss as the Mariners fell 1-0.
|Friday’s Red Sox-Mariners matchups: Aaron Cook vs. Hector Noesi||06.29.12 at 5:51 pm ET|
After spending 10 seasons with the Rockies, Aaron Cook has moved on to the Red Sox. He’s made just two starts this season in the wake of injured starters in the rotation, and on Friday night he’ll do it again as he takes the mound against the Mariners in the second game of Boston’s West Coast trip.
After spending the first month of the season in Pawtucket, Cook made his first Red Sox start on May 5 due to the absence of Josh Beckett, who missed that start due to a sore lat muscle, which led to the much-discussed incident in which it was reported that Beckett went golfing with the injury.
As it turned out, Cook may have liked to forget his start just as much as Beckett would like to have forgotten the controversy. Cook gave up seven runs (six earned) in 2 2/3 innings as he was quickly chased by the Orioles. He didn’t strike out anyone as the Orioles beat the Red Sox, 8-2.
Cook had a chance at redemption on Sunday, as he was called up a day before his start to replace Clay Buchholz, who had to miss his start due to a serious case of esophagitis. Cook, who was returning from the disabled list after receiving 11 stitches due to a gash on his left knee suffered on a play at home plate, made better in his second opportunity.
He pitched five innings, scattered six hits, gave up three runs (two earned) and struck out none as he earned his first Red Sox victory in a 9-4 win over the Braves. Now, with Buchholz still on the disabled list, the 33-year-old right-hander will make his third start with the team against the Mariners, a team he has never faced. He’s faced five different current Seattle batters, posting a combined .100 opponents batting average and striking out four in 20 combined appearances.
The Mariners will counter with Hector Noesi, a young pitcher who has had extreme difficulty finding success this season. In 15 starts, the 25-year-old is 2-9 with a 5.50 ERA. The Dominican hasn’t won a game since May 6, and is 0-6 in his last nine starts.
Noesi might be turning a corner after a fairly impressive outing last time out against the Padres. Despite taking the loss, Noesi pitched six innings and gave up only two runs (both earned) although he surrendered seven hits. He’ll go up against a Red Sox team that he’s faced off against twice as a member of the Yankees in his two-year big league career.
Latest from Bleacher Report
- Cup of Coffee: Miller homer lifts Portland following Rodriguez gem
- Barnes continues resurgence behind explosive fastball, strong curve
- Cup of Coffee: Barnes impresses in shutout victory
- Cup of Coffee: Ranaudo shuts out Lehigh Valley
- Players of the Week, 8/11-17: Keith Couch & Keury De La Cruz
- Cup of Coffee: Top picks Chavis and Kopech key GCL Sox win
- Jackie Bradley, Jr. optioned to Pawtucket, Betts called up to Boston
- Weekly Notes: Margot's break out continues in Salem
- Cup of Coffee: Monge, Margot, and Mookie keep mashing
- Cup of Coffee: Couch dominates Richmond