Red Sox Reviews: Clay Buchholz and Felix Doubront

In today’s installment of Red Sox Reviews, take a look at some neat nuggets on two pitchers expected to be in the rotation when the 2013 season starts, Clay Buchholz and Felix Doubront:

CLAY BUCHHOLZ

p-535927-clay-buchholz-baseball-card-2008-topps-6-national-baseball-card-day-boston-red-sox-r-aw-47317* – From mid-July through mid-August last season, Buchholz had a streak of seven consecutive starts with a “game score” of 58 or better (3-1, 2.03 ERA, 53 IP, 35 H in that stretch). He became just the seventh Red Sox pitcher to have such a stretch of seven games or more since 1950, joining Pedro Martinez (who holds the club record with a streak of 13 straight), Roger Clemens, Luis Tiant, Jon Lester, Tim Wakefield, John Tudor, and Jose Santiago.

Note this: No other Red Sox starter had such a streak longer than three games last season.

* – From 2007 through 2011, opposing hitters went just 12-for-76 (.158) on “clutch ground balls” (ground balls with two outs and runners in scoring position). Then in 2012, they went 7-for-25 (.280).

* – Over the last three seasons, 35 of the 44 home runs (77%) allowed by Buchholz have come with nobody on base, the second highest solo shot percentage in the majors in that span (min. 40 home runs allowed):

78.4% – Jeremy Hellickson
77.3% – Clay Buchholz
75.6% – Ivan Nova
75.0% – Roy Halladay

Note this: Other interesting solo shot percentages in that three-year span include Josh Beckett (58.3%), Jon Lester (54.2%), Daisuke Matsuzaka (42.9%), John Lackey (58.3%), Felix Doubront (64.3%).

* – Buchholz is one of only five pitchers ever to have two starts in which he allowed five or more home runs (last year against the Yankees and 2009 against Toronto). Two of the other four to have multiple five-dinger starts were Red Sox pitchers (Tim Wakefield, Beckett) while the other two were Jeff Weaver (both came against the Red Sox) and Pat Hentgen (against the Red Sox and Indians).

* – In his career, Buchholz has faced 30 batters in road games with the bases loaded and has not struck out any of them. Since 1973, 21 different Red Sox pitchers have faced 30 or more such batters and all of them have at least three punch outs in that situation. The highest strikeout percentage among Red Sox hurlers in that situation (min. 30 such batters faced) belongs to Pedro Martinez (35%; 13-of-37). Here are the lowest (same minimum):

0.0% – Clay Buchholz (0-of-30)
5.2% – Bob Stanley (6-of-115)
9.1% – Bill Lee (3-of-33)
9.1% – Bob Ojeda (3-of-33)

FELIX DOUBRONT

felix-doubront* – After failing to strike out 10 or more batters in any of his first 30 career starts, Doubront fanned 11 and 10 in his final two outings last September. The rest of the Red Sox staff managed only one start of 10+ strikeouts during the entire 2012 season.

Note this: Doubront became just the fourth left-handed starter to strike out 10 or more in consecutive starts for the Red Sox, joining Jon Lester (2009 and 2010), Bruce Hurst (three times over 1985-1986 span), and Mickey Harris (1941).

* – Doubront received 6.5 runs of support per 27 outs while he was in the game last year, the third highest mark in the majors last season (min. 150 innings pitched):

6.5 – Scott Diamond, MIN
6.5 – Lance Lynn, STL
6.1 – Felix Doubront, BOS
6.1 – Gio Gonzalez, WAS
6.1 – Derek Lowe, CLE/NYY

* – Doubront allowed four home runs to batters in the leadoff spot in the order last year. Only three pitchers allowed more: Detroit’s Justin Verlander (7), Baltimore’s Tommy Hunter (6), and Houston’s Bud Norris (5).

* – Yankees’ all-star second baseman Robinson Cano does not have a hit against Doubront in 14 career plate appearances. It’s his second most appearances without a hit against any pitcher:

18 – Pedro Martinez (0-for-17)
14 – Felix Doubront (0-for-11)
11 – Gio Gonzalez (0-for-9)
10 – Daniel Bard (0-for-8)

* – In 29 starts last year, Doubront never walked (or hit) the opponent’s first batter of the game. He became the just the fourth Red Sox starter in the last 20 years to start 25 or more games and never issue a free pass or HBP to the first batter, joining David Wells (2005), Derek Lowe (2002), and Danny Darwin (1993).

Check back soon for more Red Sox Reviews!

 

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