Eduardo Rodriguez

Thursday's Red Sox-Yankees matchups: Eduardo Rodriguez vs. CC Sabathia

August 06, 2015 - 4:54 am
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The rubber game of a three-game set between the Red Sox and Yankees on Thursday will be a battle of two lefties. Young southpaw Eduardo Rodriguez is on one end for the Sox and the declining CC Sabathia will take the mound for the Yanks.

Rodriguez has shown impressive stuff in this his rookie season. The 23-year-old has gone 6-3 with a 4.34 ERA in his first 12 starts in the majors. He has posted a 1.25 WHIP and struck out 7.6 hitters per nine innings through 66 1/3 innings.

Rodriguez earned a no-decision in his last outing against the Rays on Friday. He hurled five innings and surrendered three runs. He didn't have his sharpest stuff, as he allowed six hits and walked four. Rodriguez was just 10-for-27 on first-pitch strikes and threw a career-high 110 pitches, but was able to limit the damage as the Sox took a 7-5 win.

"When he's not had his best command, such as tonight, he's still got premium stuff to get guys out, even in fastball counts," Red Sox manager John Farrell said of Rodriguez. "He was behind in the count a lot tonight. When he got back in the strike zone, he wasn't down the middle of the plate. Like I said, he found a way to get through it. He battled -- 110 pitches through five innings is an extreme amount. He held his velocity through the entire outing for the five innings, but again, was able to get some key outs."

In eight of his 12 starts, Rodriguez has allowed two or fewer earned runs. Because of his trouble in a few starts with tipping pitches, he has a handful of atrocious starts (three times allowing six or more runs) while all the others have been solid. His only start against the Yankees came on July 11. He pitched 6 1/3 innings and allowed two runs on five hits in a winning effort.

While Rodriguez could be a future ace, Sabathia is one of the recent past. Sabathia is 35 and is turning in the worst season of his long and impressive career. He is 4-8 with a 5.54 ERA in 20 starts on the year. He has a 4.84 FIP and his 24 home runs allowed are the fourth-most in baseball.

Sabathia won a Cy Young award with the Indians in 2007 and has finished in the top-five of Cy Young voting four other times. He is a six-time All-Star last representing the AL in 2012. Sabathia leads all active pitchers with 2,534 strikeouts.

Sabathia's last start was a no-decision against the Rangers on July 30. He pitched five innings, allowing five runs on nine hits. He struck out three and allowed three homers to Rangers hitters. The Yankees ended up taking a 7-6 loss. Sabathia's manager and catcher had mixed reviews of his outing.

"You know, he struggled. It looked like he was going to get out of the first, and he hung a slider to Hamilton [for a three-run homer]," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "He gave us the five innings, gave us a chance, but again, he had that one big hit that really hurt him."

"I thought he threw the ball well," catcher Brian McCann said of Sabathia. "He hung the one pitch to Hamilton. He settled down after that, but obviously that was the pitch that put up three runs on the board."

Over the course of his 15-year career, Sabathia has a lot of experience facing the Red Sox. In 30 career starts against the Sox, he is 11-12 with a 4.63 ERA and 1.322 WHIP.

Red Sox vs. Sabathia (LHP)

David Ortiz (75 plate appearances): .239 AVG/.307 OBP/.373 SLG, 2 home runs, 3 doubles, 7 RBIs, 5 walks, 16 strikeouts

Mike Napoli (43): .263/.349/.500, 3 doubles, 2 home runs, 8 RBIs, 4 walks, 11 strikeouts

Ryan Hanigan (14): .286/.286/.571, 1 double, 1 home run, 1 RBI, 2 strikeouts

Xander Bogaerts (12): .222/.417/.333, 1 double, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts

Jackie Bradley (11): .000/.273/.000, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts

Alejandro De Aza (10): .100/.100/.100, 3 strikeouts

Pablo Sandoval (6): .200/.333/.200, 1 walk

Hanley Ramirez (4): .000/.000/.000

Brock Holt (3): .000/.333/.000, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Josh Rutledge is 0-for-1 with a strikeout against Sabathia.

Rusney Castillo, Travis Shaw and Blake Swihart have not faced Sabathia.

Yankees vs. Rodriguez (LHP)

Jacoby Ellsbury (3): .667/.667/1.667, 1 home run, 1 RBI

Brett Gardner (3): .000/.000/.000

Alex Rodriguez (3): .333/.333/1.333, 1 home run, 1 RBI

Mark Teixeira (3): .000/.333/.000, 1 walk

Didi Gregorius (2): .500/.500/.500

Chase Headley (2): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout

John Ryan Murphy (2): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout

Chris Young (2): .500/.500/.500

Carlos Beltran, Stephen Drew, Brian McCann and Brendan Ryan have not faced Rodriguez.