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August 5, 2013

What You Need to Know

The Unsung Member of the Red Sox Rotation

by Daniel Rathman


The Weekend Takeaway
Ryan Dempster has struggled since an excellent April. Clay Buchholz has been sidelined since early June. John Lackey has a 5.49 ERA since the All-Star break. And Jon Lester has taken his team for a season-long rollercoaster ride.

Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington saw a club in need of rotation reinforcements last month, and he took action a day before the trade deadline, snagging Jake Peavy from the White Sox in a three-team deal that shipped Jose Iglesias to the Tigers. Peavy, whom Cherington lauded as a pitcher who “gives us a chance to win every time out,” tossed seven innings of two-run ball to help the Red Sox past the Diamondbacks in game two of three at Fenway Park.

The first impression was a positive one, but the verdict on the Peavy trade won’t be in for a while. In the meantime, one of Cherington’s incumbent starters has recently proved worthy of the praise that his boss heaped on his newest teammate.

Felix Doubront flashed upside but was erratic in April, and his season took a sharp turn for the worse in early May, when he was touched up for 23 hits over nine innings in a two-start span. The 25-year-old was effectively wild on May 16, issuing a season-high six walks but holding the Rays to two runs in five innings. Since then, he has been a rock.

On Sunday, that rock was immovable—at least to the Diamondbacks, who went down quietly while the Red Sox forced Brandon McCarthy, fresh off the disabled list, to throw 97 pitches in 4 1/3 innings. The home team built up a 2-0 lead off McCarthy and added two more runs against Josh Collmenter; the visitors seldom threatened. Doubront scattered five singles to blank the Diamondbacks over seven innings. He struck out five and walked none despite throwing first-pitch strikes to only eight of the 25 batters he faced. And he did all of that without his best stuff.

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<< Previous Article
The Week In Quotes: Ju... (08/05)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article What You Need to Know:... (08/02)
Next Column >>
Premium Article What You Need to Know:... (08/06)
Next Article >>
Premium Article The Prospectus Hit Lis... (08/05)

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