Rick Porcello

Wednesday's Red Sox-Marlins matchups: Rick Porcello vs. Tom Koehler

July 08, 2015 - 4:11 am
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Rick Porcello will try to get back on track against the slumping Marlins on Wednesday night when he toes the bump opposite Tom Koehler. There's no other way to put it -- Porcello has been a terrible acquisition during the first chapter of his Red Sox career. His last month can be considered nothing other than an unmitigated disaster as he's racked up a 9.12 ERA on 40 hits in 24 2/3 innings, prompting questions about whether he should make this start against Wednesday. Porcello was demolished in his most recent start last Wednesday against the Blue Jays. The $82.5 million man imploded to the tune of a two-inning start in which he gave up seven earned runs on three dingers. After the game, Porcello could not conceal the blame he carries for himself. "The most disappointing [thing] through all of this, especially this one, is how well we've been playing as of late," Porcello said. "I'm letting my teammates down. That's it." For the season, Porcello is 4-9 with an AL-worst 6.08 ERA and 63.8 percent strand rate. Simply put, the 26-year-old right-hander has had trouble keeping batters off the basepaths and even more trouble emerging unscathed when they reach. He owns a 1.40 WHIP and is giving up home runs at a career-high rate (1.5 HR/9). Porcello's future as a starting pitcher for the Red Sox is in jeopardy, and it may hinge on how he responds Wednesday night. Porcello's counterpart in the visitors dugout will be Koehler, a late bloomer who made his major league debut at the age of 26 after four years of college ball and three years in the minor leagues. During his four-year major league career, Koehler has proven himself to be a capable starter with a 3.99 career ERA. He has displayed consistency once again this year, posting a 7-4 record and a 3.52 ERA. Koehler has been especially strong over his last three starts, earning the victory in each of these outings. During this span, he sports a 1.80 ERA and has limited opponents to a .192/.234/.301 slash line. His success can largely be attributed to his ability to prevent hard contact, boasting a 17 percent line drive rate. In his last start against the Cubs on July 3, Koehler overcame a severe lack of run support to snag the win for the Fish. The right-hander tossed six innings, allowing just five hits and one earned run on 91 pitches. His manager likened him to a World War II hero after his latest stellar start. "That's three straight quality starts by him," Marlins manager Dan Jennings said. "He's General Patton. He's blood and guts. He just comes out there and gives it to you every day, all he's got. And he competes. He battles for every time you put him out there. He's fun to watch." Red Sox fans will see what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object Wednesday when the red-hot Koehler takes on a Red Sox lineup that has slashed .291/.362/.459 over the last seven days. Marlins vs. Porcello (RHP) Ichiro Suzuki (31 plate appearances): .387/.387/.452, 2 doubles, 3 RBIs Jeff Mathis (8): .333/.500/.500, 1 double, 4 RBIs, 2 walks Adeiny Hechavarria is 0-for-1 against Porcello. No other Marlins have faced Porcello. Red Sox vs. Koehler (RHP) Hanley Ramirez (6): .200/.333/.200 Pablo Sandoval (6): .333/.333/.500, 1 double Alejandro De Aza (5): .000/.000/.000 Sandy Leon (5): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout No other Red Sox have faced Koehler.

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