|Thursday’s Red Sox-Blue Jays matchups: Rubby De La Rosa vs. Marcus Stroman||07.24.14 at 10:56 am ET|
The Red Sox finish their four-game series against the Blue Jays in Toronto on Thursday afternoon when they send Rubby De La Rosa to the mound against Marcus Stroman.
De La Rosa (3-2, 2.64 ERA) has been nearly unbeatable at Fenway Park this season. He’s given up one run or fewer in three of his four home starts, all of which have been Red Sox wins. That includes his most recent outing against Kansas City on Saturday. De La Rosa allowed just one run, five hits and four walks over seven innings in a 2-1 win over the Royals.
“He’s been outstanding at home,” manager John Farrell said after the game. “Even in the couple of situations where we gave an extra base runner, he shut it down and pitched with a lot of poise tonight.”
Unfortunately for the Red Sox, those results haven’t translated away from Fenway. The Sox have lost all three of De La Rosa’s road starts. He’s allowed nine runs in 18 1/3 innings on the road, where he will pitch on Thursday.
De La Rosa has just two-thirds of an inning of experience against the Blue Jays, which came in two short relief appearances last season in which he faced just one hitter. The only current Blue Jay the right-hander has faced is Jose Bautista, with one plate appearance.
After starting his major league career in the bullpen, Stroman (5-2, 3.58 ERA) has come on strong as a starter for Toronto this season. The righty has a 2.50 ERA in nine starts since joining the rotation May 31.
Stroman’s most recent start was one of his strongest. He tossed seven shutout innings Saturday against the Rangers, giving up four hits and no walks and striking out five in a 4-1 Blue Jays win. Stroman got himself into trouble just once in the game, facing a two-on, none-out situation in the fourth inning. He quickly got out of that jam with three straight outs.
“I feel like I know what I need to do [in that situation],” Stroman said after the game. “You have to raise your intensity. You can’t be as relaxed. I’m able to make a big pitch in a crucial count, and that was one of those moments.”
Stroman has been plagued by high pitch counts in some cases this season. He allowed just two runs against the Yankees on June 17, but was pulled after throwing 98 pitches in 3 2/3 innings.
Stroman has never faced the Red Sox or a member of their current lineup in his brief career.
Red Sox vs. Stroman (RHP)
No Red Sox players have faced Stroman.
Blue Jays vs. De La Rosa (RHP)
Jose Bautista is hitless in one career plate appearance.
|Closing Time: Rubby De La Rosa, Red Sox keep rolling, rally past Royals||07.19.14 at 9:50 pm ET|
Entering Saturday’s game against the Royals, the Red Sox had only scored two runs over starter Rubby De La Rosa‘s last four starts, equaling out to an unsightly 0.73 run support average.
Boston was able to double that run total on Saturday night, and while two runs isn’t much, it was enough for De La Rosa, who spun seven brilliant innings of one-run, five-hit dominance en route to a 2-1 Red Sox victory.
Boston has now won two-straight series while also earning their first series victory against a team over .500 since the team took two out of three games from the Yankees on June 27-29. Boston’s last eight wins at home have all been decided by one run.
De La Rosa has now allowed three runs or less in five of his seven starts on the year while improving his ERA at home to 1.53 in four starts (4 earned runs/26 innings).
The game remained knotted at 1-1 until the sixth inning, when Mike Napoli took a 92 mph fastball from Royals starter Danny Duffy and deposited it over the Green Monster to give the Sox a one-run lead.
Shane Victorino, playing in his first game with Boston since May 23 after battling hamstring and back injuries for almost two months, was solid at the plate, going 1-for-3 while showing no limitations both in the field and on the basepaths.
With the win the Red Sox move to 45-52 on the year and have now won six of their last seven games.
|Red Sox pregame notes: Mookie Betts sent down to Pawtucket; Will Middlebrooks to get more at-bats in Triple-A; Rubby De La Rosa excelling in rehab-free season||at 6:59 pm ET|
While the return of Shane Victorino would seem to be good news for most involved with the Red Sox, the same likely can’t be said for youngster Mookie Betts, who was optioned down to Triple-A Pawtucket to make room on the roster for the veteran outfielder.
Red Sox manager John Farrell said prior to Saturday’s game against the Royals that he was impressed with Betts, who posted a line of .235/.278/.382 in 10 games with the Red Sox, but also noted that the 21-year-old outfielder/infielder needs more seasoning and regular playing time elsewhere.
“I thought he managed his at-bats well,” Farrell said. “I thought he showed very good presence, or at least composure, for a guy who’s flown through our system. He’s a work in progress defensively, particularly in the outfield and he’ll continue to get exposure in center and in right field in Pawtucket while also playing some second base, so that’s the plan going forward for him defensively.”
Farrell acknowledged that it is unclear what the future holds for Betts in terms of finding a home on the diamond, as the established second baseman has seen most of his time in the Sox outfield this year due to both injuries and Dustin Pedroia holding the position for the foreseeable future.
“I don’t know that there’s a clear-cut answer to that right now,” Farrell said of Betts’ expected long-term position. “I think there’s going to be a number of things that contribute to that final positioning -- how the bat plays, how he further develops defensively, if it’s a good that potentially moves around to a number of positions. I wouldn’t rule that out, but to sit here today and say, ‘Mookie is going to be at this position for the next 10 years,’ I don’t have that answer or that crystal ball.”
De La Rosa (2-2, 2.89 ERA) was effective in an outing in which he was limited to just 84 pitches over five innings last Wednesday after pitching for Triple-A Pawtucket three days prior. He gave up three runs on six hits and no walks for a no-decision in an eventual 5-4 Red Sox win over the White Sox. De La Rosa’s start may have been stronger if it weren’t for the solo home runs he surrendered in the first and second inning.
“When you miss a location, you pay the price,” De La Rosa said after the game.
De La Rosa’s outing was strong enough to keep him in the rotation for his first start after the All-Star break. Saturday will be the right-hander’s first-career start against the Royals. His only appearance against Kansas City came in a one-inning relief appearance last season. He gave up a pair of solo home runs in the inning.
Duffy (5-9, 2.76 ERA) has been more reliable for the Royals this season than his win-loss record indicates. The lefty started the season in the bullpen while still re-establishing himself after 2012 Tommy John surgery, but he has proven to be an effective starter since cracking the rotation. Duffy has allowed three runs or fewer in seven of his last eight starts, but has lost his last two.
Duffy got a bad break in his most recent outing last Saturday. He allowed two runs (one earned), five hits and no walks to go with six strikeouts over six innings, but was outdueled by Anibal Sanchez in a 2-1 loss to the Tigers.
Saturday will be Duffy’s first start against the Sox since May 8, 2012. He gave up four runs (three earned) on seven hits over 4 1/3 innings in a no-decision. Duffy is 0-1 with a 7.07 ERA in three career starts against the Red Sox.
|Wednesday’s Red Sox-White Sox matchups: Rubby De La Rosa vs. Chris Sale||07.09.14 at 9:33 am ET|
De La Rosa (2-2, 2.51 ERA) will make his first start for the Red Sox since June 21 after being called up from Triple-A Pawtucket on Tuesday night. The right-hander had surrendered just five hits and one run over 14 innings in his last two starts before being sent back down to Pawtucket. He took a no-decision in his last big league outing June 21 in Oakland when he held the American League-leading Athletics to one run, four hits and a walk over seven innings to go with seven strikeouts.
De La Rosa pitched a combined 6 2/3 innings in just two appearances for Pawtucket since his demotion. He went 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA in those appearances, but he’s coming off a shutout inning of work on Sunday.
De La Rosa has never faced the White Sox or any of their current players in his career.
Sale (8-1, 2.16 ERA) has been nearly unhittable for the White Sox this season, especially as of late. The lefty has thrown at least six innings in his last seven outings, six of which have been quality starts. Sale is 2-0 with a 2.05 ERA and 21 strikeouts to just five walks in his last three outings. He’s thrown two complete games and has struck out 10 or more batters on four occasions this season.
Sale is coming off a dominant complete-game performance against the Mariners last Friday, but it wasn’t even his most impressive start of the season. He faced a Seattle lineup with six left-handed hitters who finished 4-for-21 against him. The 25-year-old allowed just one run on six hits with no walks and 12 strikeouts for his seventh career complete game. His slider emerged as his deadliest pitch against the lefty-heavy lineup. Read the rest of this entry »
|Sources: Red Sox not trying to trade Jake Peavy before Monday’s start; roster move expected soon||06.27.14 at 6:01 pm ET|
NEW YORK — It’s a puzzling time for the Red Sox rotation.
With the return of Clay Buchholz on Wednesday, the team left the West Coast with seven pitchers for five spots, as Buchholz joined Jon Lester, John Lackey, Jake Peavy, Brandon Workman, Rubby De La Rosa and Felix Doubront on the 25-man roster. The Sox had held off on paring down the group, though they made a first move to do so on Friday, announcing that with left-hander Chris Capuano having been designated for assignment, Doubront would be moved into the bullpen.
That left six candidates, and ample grounds for speculation. Manager John Farrell offered the following rotation alignment starting for the Cubs series that will run from Monday through Wednesday.
“Right now, we’ll go with Jake Peavy on Monday, Clay Buchholz Tuesday and then we come back around to Brandon Workman right now on Wednesday,” said Farrell. “That puts Rubby in maybe a little bit of a different situation than we’ve discussed in the last couple days, but still nothing else to follow-up with Rubby’s situation as of right now.”
The natural conclusion, both given the qualifying phrase “and now” and the fact that a move with De La Rosa wasn’t being made immediately was to conclude that the Sox might be exploring a trade involving Peavy, keeping De La Rosa around to make the start in case a deal does go down.
According to multiple industry sources, however, the decision to keep De La Rosa on the roster was not related to an attempt to trade Peavy before his next start. Read the rest of this entry »
|Pedro Martinez on MFB: Red Sox ‘obviously overachieved and we surprised everybody’ last year||06.26.14 at 1:47 pm ET|
Former Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez joined Middays with MFB Thursday morning to discuss Clay Buchholz‘s return, the pressure placed upon the Red Sox pitching staff this season and the promising pitching prospects in Boston’s farm system. To listen to the interview, go to the Middays with MFB audio on demand page.
The Red Sox have received solid contributions from their pitching staff this season (3.78 team ERA), but the Boston offense has left much to be desired, placing 25th in baseball in runs scored. While the lack of scoring has put a considerable amount of pressure on Boston’s pitchers this season, Martinez said that he enjoyed getting the opportunity to pick up his club during his playing days with the Red Sox.
“That’s exactly your responsibility sometimes — to pick up your teammates,” Martinez said. “I was always looking for those moments where my team was desperate — doing whatever they could to score runs and they couldn’t — I took it personal and I wanted to go out there and post a shutout or limit the other team as much as I could in order to get those guys to bounce back or rest a little bit and in that way, everything will fall into place later.
“This is a reflection of what we went through last year. We obviously overachieved and we surprised everybody. … Now what happens is, the extra push that we had to actually achieve all those things, I think is reflecting on those guys. They’re a little tired. If you play in the big leagues, if you play ball, you can tell that the team is tired. … Some of the pitchers did not have enough time to recoup from the long season last year during the playoffs.”
Buchholz made his first start since May 26 Wednesday against the Mariners and looked far different from the player who posted a 7.02 ERA through his first 10 starts of the season. Buchholz earned the win against Seattle, allowing four earned runs while surrendering zero walks in 7 1/3 innings. Martinez said that Buchholz’s extended time off should be beneficial for the righty.
“Buchholz is the type of pitcher that will throw strikes when his mind is 100 percent there. I think the rest really helped him,” Martinez said. “Having a little time to regroup and actually refresh his mind, I think helped him out. … Even though he was pitching, his velocity was declining. His movement on the fastball was different. Everything was different. So I think this little time off helped him out. I just hope he continues to go the same way he went last night or maybe improve a little bit more as he goes.”
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