Eduardo Rodriguez

Tuesday's Red Sox-Orioles matchups: Eduardo Rodriguez vs. Miguel Gonzalez

June 09, 2015 - 4:36 am
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Looking to push their season-high three-game win streak to four, the Red Sox will send out rookie sensation Eduardo Rodriguez to oppose Miguel Gonzalez and the Orioles. We're running out of superlatives for the Red Sox' newest southpaw. Rodriguez will get the chance to win his first three big league decisions with his start on Tuesday. In his first two, he was absolutely magnificent, hurling 14 2/3 innings with a 0.61 ERA and an even more impressive 0.61 WHIP. The Red Sox may have had some idea of Rodriguez's potential, but they never predicted this explosion into the rotation. "He does [have the chance to become something special]," Red Sox manager John Farrell said after Rodriguez's start last Wednesday. "And I think anybody in the game who'€™s watched any pitch whether it'€™s been previously with Baltimore or since coming over here. We have the vantage point of getting to know the person in addition to the pitcher. He'€™s got great aptitude, he'€™s intelligent, in addition to the physical abilities that he demonstrates. It is, it'€™s a special kid." In his latest outing last Wednesday, Rodriguez dismantled the Twins, the sixth-highest scoring team in the majors. He went seven innings and allowed just one earned run, a solo home run to second baseman Brian Dozier. Aside from this one blemish, Rodriguez was unstoppable, whiffing seven and earning a game score of 74. One of the many apt descriptors to illustrate Rodriguez's dominance over opposing hitters is masterful. In 53 plate appearances against the 22-year-old, opponents have reached base nine times, good for a .102/.170/.184 slash line. Opponents' batting average on balls in play against Rodriguez is a mere .118. Normally a low BABIP indicates a pitcher has gotten lucky in terms of defense and/or hard contact, yet in this case, Rodriguez' BABIP highlights his uncanny ability to produce weak contact. Rodriguez, an ex-Orioles minor leaguer, will get the chance to face his former organization after being traded midseason last year for lefty bullpen ace Andrew Miller, who fled Baltimore in free agency this offseason. For the O's, Gonzalez has had a consistent campaign, illustrated by his five quality starts. On the season, the 31-year-old is 5-4 with a 3.54 ERA, and in his last two starts he has shone. Over his last 14 2/3 innings, Gonzalez sports a 2.45 ERA with 14 strikeouts and a 15 percent swinging strike rate. Despite his apparent dominance, Gonzalez has been walking a fine line of late. Though he has held opponents to a .140 batting average in his last two outings, their BABIP registers at .094. While for Rodriguez his low BABIP indicates his ability to produce weak contact, Gonzalez is prone to hard-hit balls. During these two starts, the right-hander's line drive rate is 28 percent, an extremely high number that will result in extra-base hits more often than not. Addtionally, Gonzalez has been prone to the long ball, giving up four home runs in these 14 2/3, all solo shots. "Miguel was good, he made three mistakes all night," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said after Gonzalez allowed three homers to the Astros in a 3-1 defeat last Wednesday. "Not much margin for error, and you can say that about a few nights." Throughout his four-year career, Rodriguez has found success against the Red Sox. He owns a 5-1 record and a 3.17 ERA in 10 appearances vs. Boston. While he may prevent the Red Sox from scoring, Gonzalez has not been able to keep the Red Sox off the bases, giving up 73 baserunners in 54 innings of work. Rodriguez and Gonzalez will duel to determine who will fall into last place in the AL East when they take the mound at Camden Yards on Tuesday. Red Sox vs. Gonzalez (RHP) Dustin Pedroia (18 plate appearances): .235 AVG/.278 OBP/.235 SLG Mike Napoli (14): .154/.214/.154, 5 strikeouts David Ortiz (13): .200/.385/.500, 1 HR, 3 RBIs, 3 walks Mookie Betts (12): .333/.500/.667, 1 HR, 2 walks Xander Bogaerts (10): .100/.100/.100, 4 strikeouts Brock Holt (10): .300/.300/.300 Hanley Ramirez (6): .500/.500/1.500, 2 HR, 4 RBIs Pablo Sandoval (6): .400/.500/.400 Alejandro De Aza (5): .400/.400/.400, 2 strikeouts Rusney Castillo (3): .000/.000/.000 Sandy Leon is 0-for-1 with a walk and a strikeout vs. Gonzalez. Jeff Bianchi and Blake Swihart have not faced Gonzalez. Orioles vs. Rodriguez (LHP) No Orioles have faced Rodriguez.