Rick Porcello

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

April 29, 2015 - 4:24 am
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Rick Porcello will make his fifth start of the season on Wednesday at home against the Blue Jays. Veteran knuckleballer R.A. Dickey will take the mound for Toronto. Much like the rest of the Red Sox rotation, Porcello (1-2) has gotten off to an inconsistent start to 2015. His lone win came on a four-run, eight-inning gem against Washington in his second start of the year. Since then, Porcello allowed eight runs in five innings against the Orioles and four runs in six innings, also against Baltimore. His ERA has climbed to 6.48 and his WHIP has jumped to 1.44, both second worst among Red Sox starters behind Wade Miley. He already has allowed six home runs and has a batting average against of .277, both worst among Boston starting pitchers. The 26-year-old has shown that he can pitch like an ace when he has his best stuff, but the Red Sox would like to see that much more consistently. In his last outing against Baltimore, Porcello allowed four runs on six hits and two walks while striking out seven through six innings. He gave up a home run to Jimmy Paredes and received a no-decision, as the Red Sox mounted an eighth-inning comeback to get the win. The most concerning stat for Porcello in his last outing may be the ground ball to fly ball ratio. For a pitcher who relies on getting outs on balls in play instead of strikeouts, Porcello would like to see more than three balls put on the ground as opposed to 12 in the air. Before his most recent start against Baltimore, Porcello spoke about his pitch selection, specifically about mixing in his rising four-seam fastball with his signature sinker. "There's a balance and there'€™s a fine line between throwing it the right amount and throwing it too much, you can get away from what I do best and what my strength is, which is throwing the sinker," Porcello said. "The thing is I have the ability to throw a good four-seamer and generate some swings and misses. It'€™s just a matter of picking the right spots." In eight career games against Toronto, Porcello is 2-5 with a 4.70 ERA, a 1.27 WHIP, 15 strikeouts and 12 walks. He has allowed four home runs to the Blue Jays in 44 total innings. Porcello's opponent on the mound will be the 2012 NL Cy Young Award winner. Dickey has struggled in his four starts this season, going 0-2 with a 5.25 ERA, a 1.38 WHIP, 16 strikeouts and 13 walks. He has allowed four home runs on the season. In his most recent start, a loss to the Rays, the 40-year-old right-hander made it through just 4 2/3 innings, allowing eight runs (seven earned), nine hits and a walk without striking out any Tampa Bay batters. Dickey gave up two home runs, one to James Loney and one to Rene Rivera, in a game that his team would eventually lose 12-3. In seven career games at Fenway Park, Dickey is 2-1 with a 4.13 ERA, a 1.06 WHIP, 31 strikeouts, four walks, and three home runs allowed. Blue Jays vs. Porcello (RHP) Jose Bautista (19 plate appearances): .471 AVG/.526 OBP/.471 SLG, 3 RBIs, 2 walks Danny Valencia (17): .267/.353/.333, 1 double, 2 walks, 1 strikeout Edwin Encarnacion (15): .400/.400/.667, 4 doubles, 3 RBIs, 1 strikeout Russell Martin (13): .091/.231/.091, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts Justin Smoak (12): .273/.333/.545, 1 home run, 4 RBIs, 1 walk, 1 strikeout Josh Donaldson (8): .000/.000/.000, 2 strikeouts Michael Saunders (6): .000/.000/.000, 3 strikeouts Josh Thole (6): .333/.333/.833, 1 HR, 1 RBI Johnathon Diaz, Ryan Goins, Kevin Pillar, Dalton Pompey and Devon Travis have not faced Porcello. Red Sox vs. Dickey (RHP) Dustin Pedroia (28): .185/.214/.296, 1 HR, 3 RBIs, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts Hanley Ramirez (22): .286/.318/.429, 3 doubles, 3 RBIs, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts Mike Napoli (20): .333/.400/.444, 2 doubles, 3 RBIs, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts David Ortiz (20): .333/.400/.778, 2 HR, 2 doubles, 6 RBIs, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts Daniel Nava (18): .235/.222/.353, 2 doubles, 1 RBI, 2 strikeouts Pablo Sandoval (13): .231/.231/.385, 2 doubles, 1 RBI, 2 strikeouts Xander Bogaerts (11): .545/.545/.727, 2 doubles, 2 RBIs, 1 strikeout Mookie Betts (7): .333/.429/.500, 1 double, 1 walk, 1 strikeout Allen Craig (7): .000/.286/.000, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts Brock Holt (7): .143/.143/.143, 2 strikeouts Ryan Hanigan (6): .333/.333/.500, 1 double, 2 RBIs, 1 strikeout Sandy Leon has one hit in one plate appearance vs. Dickey.