Boston Red Sox (Buchholz 0-3, 6.51) Chicago White Sox (Rodon 1-3, 4.33) 8pm ET on ESPN
Clay Buchholz has made 5 starts for the Boston Red Sox in 2016 and won none of them. Among the 105 pitchers who’ve qualified for the ERA title, Buchholz ranks 102 with a 6.51 ERA. His 1.59 WHIP ranks 95th. His 1.46 SO/BB ratio is 100th. He has made just one start that could be considered “good,” as he went 6 ⅔ scoreless innings against the Blue Jays, but even in that game his peripherals left something to be desired, as he surrendered 6 hits and 2 walks while striking out just 2, and he didn’t have a single 1-2-3- inning, surviving unscathed thanks to 4 double plays, the most in a single game this season and the ninth-most in the 21st Century. What made his last effort – 6 ⅓ IP, 8 H, 5 R, 4 BB, 2 K – particularly galling was that it came against the Atlanta Braves, who at the time were 4-17 and losers of their previous 8 games. This is a team that hits so poorly that it’s .289 team slugging percentage is lower than any individual players in the last 5 years – that is the caliber of team that can best Clay Buchholz.
Lefty Carlos Rodon made his Major League debut with the White Sox in April of 2015, and scuffled along for a few months before hitting his stride. From August 11 forward, Rodon made 8 starts, going 6-2 with a 1.81 ERA. Yes, it was a bit of an illusion, as he benefited from a .243 BABIP, and a home run rate of just 1 every 13 ⅔ innings. Still, his BB and K rates were moving in the right direction, and he was winning. This year, however, he’s been stung by the long ball, having already given up 3 in just 27 innings, after giving up just 4 in his last 54 ⅔ of 2015. The homers have result in 5 of the 13 runs he’s given up thus far. And then there was the unpleasantness of April 18, he Rodon had a first inning of which nightmares are made: single, strikeout, walk, walk, single, single, single, single, single. In sum, he retired one batter, and gave up 5 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks. Heck, you throw at that fiasco, and he’s got a 2.70 ERA. But you can’t. Anyway, he’s gotten his mojo back since then, making 2 starts, giving up 8 runs on 10 hits and 3 walks in 13 ⅔ innings with 14 K’s.
Last night the White Sox beat the Red Sox 4-1, as Jose Quintana pitched 8 innings of 1-run ball, giving up just 4 hits and no walks, with 5 K’s, and Jose Abreu providing more than enough offense, with an RBI triple in the first and a 2-run double in the 8th. For the BoSox, knuckleballer Steven Wright had another fine start, lasting 6 innings, and giving up just 2 runs on 3 hits and 4 walks with 6 strikeouts, but his only support was a solo shot by Hanley Ramirez in the 5th. Chicago sits atop the AL Central at 19-8, the best record in the American League, while Boston is 15-11, just a half game back of the first=place Orioles in the AL East.
Don’t miss tonight’s action from the FOX Sports regional networks across the land:
Atlanta Braves (Chacin 1-1, 3.27) at New York Mets (Matz 3-1, 3.86) 1:10pm ET on FOX Sports Southeast
Los Angeles Angels (Santiago 2-1, 3.34) at Milwaukee Brewers (Davies 0-3, 8.78) 1:40pm ET on FOX Sports West
Washington Nationals (Strasburg 4-0, 2.25) at Kansas City Royals (Medlen 1-2, 4.87) 2:15pm ET on FOX Sports Kansas City
Colorado Rockies (Chatwood 3-2, 2.73) at San Diego Padres (Vargas 0-0, 0.87) 3:40pm ET on FOX Sports San Diego
Detroit Tigers (Sanchez 3-2, 6.08) at Cleveland Indians (Kluber 1-3, 4.24) 6:10pm ET on FOX Sports Detroit & SportsTime Ohio
New York Yankees (Sabathia 1-2, 5.06) at Baltimore Orioles (Wilson 1-0, 3.06) 7:05pm ET on YES
Texas Rangers (Lewis 2-0, 3.19) at Toronto Blue Jays (Sanchez 2-1, 2.59) 7:07pm ET on FOX Sports Southwest
Arizona Diamondbacks (De La Rosa 1-3, 10.18) at Miami Marlins (Fernandez 2-2, 4.08) 7:10pm ET on FOX Sports Arizona & FOX Sports Florida
Los Angeles Dodgers (Wood 1-2, 4.82) at Tampa Bay Rays (Smyly 1-3, 2.60) 7:10pm ET on Fox Sports Sun
Minnesota Twins (Hughes 1-4, 4.45) at Houston Astros (Fiers 2-1, 4.97) 8:10pm ET on FOX Sports North
Philadelphia Phillies (Morgan 0-0, 5.40) at St. Louis Cardinals (Leake 0-3, 5.83) 8:15pm ET on FOX Sports Midwest