Rick Porcello

Saturday's Red Sox-Blue Jays matchups: Rick Porcello vs. R.A. Dickey

April 09, 2016 - 5:12 am
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In the second game of the season's first weekend series, the Red Sox will have righty Rick Porcello on the hill for his 2016 debut. He will be opposed by Blue Jays knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. The 2015 season was a forgettable one for Porcello. Before he even made his first start with the club, the Red Sox signed him to a four-year, $82.5 million extension. Along with the high price tag came high expectations, and Porcello certainly did not live up to them. In one of his worst seasons statistically, he went 9-15 with a career worst 4.92 ERA and 149 strikeouts. His spring training brought more cause for concern, as he struggled to find consistent success and had a several rough outings. Red Sox manager John Farrell echoed this in an interview after Porcello was hit hard by the Orioles in a Grapefruit League matchup. "He's capable of better," Farrell said on March 28. "He has shown that. We need Rick to pitch to his strengths, which are continually worked on. He's working at it to continue to refine it and gain that consistency. We need him to be a little bit more consistent." In 11 career starts against the Blue Jays, Porcello is 4-7 with a 5.29 ERA. Dickey and Red Sox pitcher Steven Wright originally were to match up on Saturday, which would have been the first time in 16 years that two knuckleballers started against each other, but Thursday's cancellation in Cleveland caused the Sox to tweak the pitching schedule. The 41-year-old Dickey went 11-11 with a 3.91 ERA and 126 strikeouts in 2015. With the knuckleball as his primary pitch, his arm is less susceptible to fatigue and it shows in his numbers. In each of the last five seasons he has pitched over 200 innings. He opened the season with a win against the Rays on Monday. He threw just five innings in that game, allowing three earned runs on six hits and striking out three. In 16 career starts against the Red Sox, Dickey is 6-6 with a 4.23 ERA. Red Sox vs. Dickey (RHP) Dustin Pedroia (44 plate appearances): .233 AVG/.250 OBP/.372 SLG, 1 double, 1 triple, 1 home run, 4 RBIs, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts David Ortiz (38): .265/.342/.588, 2 doubles, 3 home runs, 8 RBIs, 4 walks, 8 strikeouts Hanley Ramirez (31): .300/.323/.500, 3 doubles, 1 home run, 5 RBIs, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts Xander Bogaerts (29): .357/.379/.571, 3 doubles, 1 home run, 6 RBIs, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts Pablo Sandoval (27): .296/.296/.593, 5 doubles, 1 home run, 5 RBIs, 3 strikeouts Mookie Betts (24): .348/.375/.565, 1 double, 2 triples, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts Jackie Bradley (23): .095/.174/.238, 1 home run, 4 RBIs, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts Brock Holt (21): .211/.286/.263, 1 double, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts Chris Young (13): .077/.077/.154, 1 double, 5 strikeouts Ryan Hanigan (9): .375/.375/.500, 1 double, 2 RBI, 2 strikeouts Travis Shaw (6): .333/.333/.833, 1 home run, 1 RBI Rusney Castillo is 0-for-5 with one walk in six plate appearances against Dickey. Blake Swihart is 1-for-4 with a strikeout in his career against Dickey. Blue Jays vs. Porcello (RHP) Jose Bautista (30 plate appearances): .423 AVG/.500 OBP/.538 SLG, 1 home run, 5 RBIs, 4 walks, 3 strikeouts Edwin Encarnacion (26): .346/.346/.615, 4 doubles, 1 home run, 6 RBIs, 5 strikeouts Josh Donaldson (20): .250/.250/.400, 1 home run, 1 RBI, 4 strikeouts Russell Martin (20): .118/.250/.118, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts Justin Smoak (19): .438/.526/1.063, 1 double, 3 home runs, 9 RBIs, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts Kevin Pillar (10): .400/.400/.700, 3 doubles Ryan Goins (9): .222/.222/.444, 1 triple, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout Michael Saunders (9): .000/.111/.000, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts Josh Thole (9): .222./.222/.556, 1 home run, 2 RBIs Ezequiel Carrera (8): .250/.250/.625, 1 double, 1 triple, 2 RBIs, 1 strikeout Troy Tulowitzki (8): .143/.250/.143, 1 walk Darwin Barney is 2-for-2 against Porcello, while Chris Colabello is 0-for-2 with a strikeout.

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