Rick Porcello

Wednesday's Red Sox-Orioles matchups: Rick Porcello vs. Wei-Yin Chen

June 10, 2015 - 4:41 am
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As the Red Sox fight to stay out of the AL East basement, they will send right-hander Rick Porcello to the mound Wednesday against Wei-Yin Chen and the Orioles. It's been a long season for Porcello. Signed in order to stabilize the Red Sox rotation, he has done anything but. In 11 starts this season, Porcello is 4-5 with a 5.01 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP. He has given up 11 homers and opponents have slugged .434 off him. After two straight starts of six or more earned runs, Porcello settled down in his most recent outing against the Twins last Wednesday. The former Tiger tossed eight innings on 101 pitches, giving up just five hits and two earned runs. He earned a season-high game score of 69 and he also tied his season-high for swinging strikes with 12. However, Porcello still got the loss as the Red Sox offense was shut out by Trevor May. "He got better as the night went along," Red Sox manager John Farrell said of Porcello following the 2-0 defeat. "Eight quality innings of work. In the second inning he left a couple of pitches up that they were able bunch together with a walk for their two runs and then, like I said, became much more efficient as he went. The most encouraging thing I thought was in the middle innings and later inning his two-seamer was in the right part of the zone down. Put the ball on the ground a number of times. "We just couldn't get anything going offensively, but Rick certainly gave us an opportunity." Coming off of a strong start back home, Porcello will be wary of hitter-friendly Camden Yards. In five career starts there, he owns a 1-3 record and a 4.60 ERA to go along with a 1.43 WHIP. Chen, a four-year veteran, is coming off of a career year for the Orioles. In 2014, Chen shocked the AL East by going 16-6 with a 3.54 ERA in an injury-shortened campaign. This season, his win-loss may have come back to earth, but he has limited baserunners better than ever. He currently sports a 1-4 record with a 3.18 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP, a figure well below his career mark of 1.25. While at face value Chen is on pace to have one of the best seasons of his career, a deeper look labels him the beneficiary of good luck. The southpaw maintains a 4.43 FIP, the worst mark of his career, and opponents have hit .263 on balls in play, well below the league average of .296. These stats mean Chen has gotten doubly fortunate to have great defense behind him and a healthy amount of weak contact against him as well. In his latest outing, a 3-2 win over the Astros last Thursday, Chen pitched one of the best games of his season. He went 6 1/3 innings, allowed five hits and two runs and struck out nine. He did give up a dinger to Hank Conger, but aside from the one mistake, he commanded the zone, hurling 66 pitches out of 95 for strikes en route to outdueling Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel. Over the course of his career, Chen has compiled a 5-4 record and a 3.79 ERA against the Red Sox in 13 starts. When he takes the bump Wednesday, he will look to slow down a Red Sox lineup that has hit five home runs and slugged .468 against him. Red Sox vs. Chen (LHP) Dustin Pedroia (36 plate appearances): .469 AVG/.514 OBP/.688 SLG, 5 doubles, 1 triple David Ortiz (30): .308/.333/.462, 1 HR, 6 RBIs Mike Napoli (24): .238/.333/.714, 3 HR, 5 RBIs Xander Bogaerts (16): .214/.313/.429, 1 HR Mookie Betts (10): .100/.100/.100 Brock Holt (8): .000/.125/.000 Alejandro De Aza (7): .167/.286/.167 Pablo Sandoval (6): .000/.000/.000 Hanley Ramirez (4): .333/.500/.333 No other Red Sox have faced Chen. Orioles vs. Porcello (RHP) Adam Jones (31): .258/.258/.387, 9 strikeouts Delmon Young (31): .310/.355/.483, 1 HR, 2 doubles Chris Davis (24): .261/.292/.696, 3 HR, 7 RBIs J.J. Hardy (20): .400/.400/.450 Manny Machado (17): .333/.353/.333, 4 strikeouts Matt Wieters (16): .308/.438/.385, 2 RBIs Travis Snider (15): .154/.267/.154 Ryan Flaherty (8): .429/.500/.857, 1 HR, 1 walk David Lough (8): .286/.375/.429, 1 double, 1 RBI Jimmy Paredes (7): .571/.571/1.000, 1 HR, 2 RBIs Caleb Joseph (5): .500/.800/.500, 2 walks Steve Pearce (3): .000/.000/.000

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