Red Sox Series Preview: A War North Of The Border
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Jun 20, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Mark Buehrle (56) throws a pitch during the first inning in a game against the Baltimore Orioles at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Pitching Matchups @ Blue Jays (Rogers Centre):
June 29th @ 7:07 PM ET
- Clay Buchholz (5-6, 3.68 ERA) vs. R.A. Dickey (3-7, 4.88 ERA)
- The righty veteran for the Red Sox has been significantly lowering his ERA, since the first two-and-a-half months of the season. In his last three games, Buchholz has allowed five runs and three walks, while striking out 13 opposing batters. The only problem is that four of those runs came in one game: against the Toronto Blue Jays.
- Even with a 1-1 record in his last three games, Dickey’s knuckleball has been dancing well for him and the Blue Jays. He’s allowed seven runs in that span, while walking nine and striking out 14 batters. After starting the season being pulled quickly in games, Dickey has lasted at least to the seventh inning in each of his recent starts. Do not expect the Red Sox to get to the bullpen early, if Dickey can keep the damage to a minimum. Since the game will be in the Rogers Centre, Dickey should be feelin’ like dancin’ the night away. All three of his wins, including a complete game, were at home.
June 30th @ 7:07 PM ET
- Eduardo Rodriguez (3-2, 4.33 ERA) vs. Marco Estrada (5-3, 3.45 ERA)
- The Red Sox’ 22-year-old lefty was roughed up for two losses in his last three starts, although he had a good start to win against a tough Kansas City Royals lineup. Rodriguez gave up only a single run on six hits in 6.1 innings. However, in his last start against the Blue Jays, Toronto smacked him around for nine earned runs on eight hits and three walks in 4.2 innings.
- Estrada has come out of nowhere and decided to be an elite pitcher, lately. The righty has won two out of the last three starts, with his no-decision coming from flirting with a perfect game, ending in the ninth inning on the last out against the Rays. He allowed just two hits and struck out 10 batters in the cause, lasting 8.2 innings. Estrada is the hottest pitcher on the Blue Jays and, quite possibly, the entire American League.
July 1st (Canada Day) @ 1:07 PM ET
- Rick Porcello (4-8, 5.54 ERA) vs. Mark Buehrle (8-4, 3.81 ERA)
- Porcello is not going to be mistaken for being a hot pitcher, as of late. He’s 0-6 in his last seven starts. He’s giving up runs like they are going out of style and a fashion outlet mall, giving up 33 runs on 52 hits in 42 innings. It’s not the walks that have burned him, as Porcello has only given up nine walks in that same span. He is being spanked around the park in every direction other than victory.
- In Buehrle’s case, he’s been a happy man on and off of the field. From his big smiles in the dugout, to his laughter with fellow players and the media in the clubhouse, to his calm demeanor on the mound, Buehrle has been showing what it means to be a comfortable veteran. His talents, experience, and personality have allowed the young Blue Jays to approach and learn from him as much as they can, hoping some of that success rubs off on them, too. Buehrle may be only 1-0 in his last three starts, but he’s allowed only five runs in that stretch, each appearance lasting, with ease, to the eighth inning. Look for more of the same at the Rogers Centre, as Buehrle is 4-1 at home, and that day he will have the entire country of Canada cheering for him and the Blue Jays.
July 2nd @ 7:07 PM ET
- Wade Miley (7-7, 4.38 ERA) vs. Matt Boyd (0-1, 5.40 ERA)
- The Red Sox lefty has been burning hot since turning red in the face in front of his manager John Farrell. Miley is now 2-1 in his last three starts, with the loss being from a lack of run support. In that game, Miley threw 6.1 innings, allowing two runs on five hits, two walks, and eight strikeouts. In his previous two outings, Miley allowed a combined two runs, 10 hits, five walks, and 10 strikeouts. If he keeps this up, Miley might start to be called a consistently successful pitcher. Oh my!
- In his first major league start, Boyd did fairly well, considering the pressure. He game up four earned runs on nine hits in almost seven innings. The runs felt more like he bled them slowly, while his team didn’t give him the run support to overcome the deficit. The 24-year-old lefty has a six-foot-three frame and showed four different types of pitches: the four-seamer, the slider, the curve, and the changeup. It’s worth noting that he threw the fastball and slider over 85% of the time, according to FanGraphs.com, suggesting that his nerves may have gotten to him to want to throw faster pitches. His fastball tapped out at 91 mph.