Red Sox Series Preview: 2nd Half Angels

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Jul 10, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Los Angeles Angels pitcher Hector Santiago (53) throws out a pitch against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

Pitching Matchups:

Friday, July 17, 10:05 p.m.:

Wade Miley (8-8, 4.80) vs. C.J. Wilson (7-7, 3.83)

Miley has struggled over his last three starts, posting a 6.88 ERA over that span. After a terrible April (8.62 ERA), he seemed to be righting the ship with ERAs of 3.49 and 3.30 for May and June before his recent difficulties. On May 24, Miley had his longest and perhaps best start of the year going eight innings, allowing just one run to secure the victory. This was Miley’s only career start vs. the Angels.

Wilson has had success in his career against the Red Sox, (6-4, 2.88) in 23 games including 11 starts, striking out 73 over 78 career innings. 2015 has been just adequate for the former Texas Rangers left-hander. He posted a 3.18 ERA through May, but since then it has been 4.68. Wilson has won four of his last six starts, but three times since June 1 has allowed five earned runs in a start. His walks are down this year, three per nine innings vs. his career avg of 3.8.

Saturday, July 18, 9:05 p.m. :
Rick Porcello (5-9, 5.90) vs. Garrett Richards (9-6, 3.53)

Porcello’s struggles have been well-documented. The right-hander had lost his previous seven decisions before winning his last start with a six inning, two earned run allowed effort in which the quick stab of a comebacker ended a Miami rally which seemed destined to tie that game. The 14 ground balls he induced in that start is encouraging for the sinkerball pitcher who had given up that many since his first start of the year. Porcello has struggled mightily against the Angels in his career (4-5, 7.07) with a 1.59 WHIP over 63.2 career innings.

Richards was on a five start run in which he went 4-1 with a 2.04 ERA before getting knocked around by Seattle for four earned runs and 12 hits in his last start before the break. The talented right hander is stingy giving up home runs, leading the American League last season in that category before a leg injury at Fenway Park.prematurely ended his season. This year he has given up eight in 99 innings. Richards is 1-0 with a 6.05 ERA over 19.1 career innings vs. Boston.

Sunday, July 19, 8:05 p.m. :
Eduardo Rodriguez (5-2, 3.59) vs. Hector Santiago (6-4, 2.33)

Rodriguez has yet to face the Angels in this, his rookie season. Over two starts vs. the American League West, he is 1-0 with one earned run allowed in 12.1 innings. The promising lefty has allowed one or fewer runs in six of his nine career starts. E-Rod has been remarkable in his four starts away from home this season, allowing just two runs and 16 hits over 26 innings (3-0, 0.69)

Santiago was an All-Star for the first time this season. He has been consistently good this season, allowing one or fewer earned runs in 12 of his 18 starts. The left-hander had the bad fortune to be the Angels pitcher in the May 24 game in which Miley shut the Angels down. In that game, Santiago gave up three earned runs and seven hits over 6.2 innings, but took the loss that day. The 30th round draft choice of the White Sox in 2006 has a 3.91 career ERA in 25.1 innings against the Red Sox.

Monday, July 20, 10:05 p.m. :
TBD–no pitchers officially announced at this writing

Likely candidates for the Angels are Matt Shoemaker (4-7, 4.85) and rookie lefthander Andrew Heaney (3-0, 1.32). Considering Shoemaker pitched out of the bullpen in Heaney’s last start, unless they were just trying to get Shoemaker work, Heaney seems the more likely candidate. Heaney has been spectacular in his four starts this year for the Angels. In 2014, Heaney was 0-3 with a 5.83 ERA for the Marlins. A 2012 first round draft choice by the Marlins, he was sent to the Dodgers last season as part of the Dan Haren/Dee Gordon deal. He was then flipped straight up to the Angels for Howie Kendrick. Considering Kendrick is a veteran player, you can see how he is regarded by the Angels. Heaney has never faced the Red Sox.

Recently called up rookie left-hander Brian Johnson would be the prime candidate for the Red Sox, since presumably he took Clay Buchholz place in the rotation. Johnson posted a 2.73 ERA in 16 starts this season at AAA Pawtucket. Steven Wright (3-2, 4.15) is also a candidate to make his fifth start of the season. Wright has a 3.13 ERA over his four starts this season.