Boston Red Sox pitching has dominated opposing hitters for much of the young 2013 MLB season, but in the past two series, the starting rotation has failed miserably. The pitching despairs started against the powerful Texas Rangers offense, with Felix Doubront allowing six runs and 12 hits in just 3.2 innings pitched. The Sox were swept by the Rangers over the weekend.
Doubtront’s woeful outing got him yanked from the starting rotation as 23-year-old Allen Webster got the spot start tonight against the Minnesota Twins. The Sox called on the youngster to get the pitching staff back on track in the third game of the series after the staff allowed a combined 11 runs in the first two. Alas, Webster had a dreadful performance, allowing eight runs (all earned) in just 1.2 innings pitched.
The first inning was a disaster for Webster. After walking Joe Mauer and Josh Willingham, he allowed a ground-rule double to Justin Morneau. After a sacrifice fly by Trevor Plouffe to score Willingham, Ryan Doumit followed with a two-run home-run.
After recording a four run first inning, the Twins responded with a seven-run second inning, putting the game out of reach. Doubront struggled in his new middle relief role, surrendering six runs on 12 hits in 5.1 innings out of the bullpen. All nine of the Twins starters scored as the Red Sox yielded a season-worst 15 runs.
The loss dropped the Red Sox to 21-13, now tied for first in the AL East with the Baltimore Orioles, who took two of three from the Red Sox at Fenway Park in April. The Sox have experienced their first rough patch of the season as a result of their poor pitching.
In order for the Sox to get back on the winning track and keep pace in the ultra-competitive American League East, they must pitch drastically better.