When Felix Doubront took the mound on Wednesday night in Syracuse, they should have played the song “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by the band Simple Minds over the stadium loudspeakers.
Between injuries to Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz and John Lackey’s bloated ERA, there could be a need in Boston for a starting pitcher after the All-Star break.
Was Doubront looking to make a statement in Wednesday’s start that he should be considered?
“Definitely,” Felix told me. “I feel like I can go up there and help.”
(Photo courtesy of Kelly O’Connor)
Doubront’s performance spoke volumes, as the 23-year-old lefty tossed 7 shutout innings in a 2-0 win over the Chiefs. Felix allowed 4 hits – all singles – and struck out 4 batters while throwing a season-high 108 pitches.
“It felt pretty good,” Doubront said. “I had my fastball command where I was able to drive the ball down – that was one of my goals in my last bullpen session. My fastball was very effective, my changeup was pretty good, and I was able to show them my curve. Because I had such a good fastball, I didn’t need the curve ball as much.”
“I thought it was a great outing,” said catcher Luis Exposito. “He was aggressive and he was focused the whole game. There are times where he is not as focused and that affects him on the mound, but the tempo he brought yesterday was a different tempo. I haven’t seen it all year.”
Doubront was not only motivated by the potential need for a starter in Boston. In his previous outing, Felix allowed 10 hits and 6 earned runs in an 8-4 loss to Rochester– the only time in 12 starts that he has allowed more than 4 earned runs.
“I was upset,” Doubront said. “It was the first game with Pawtucket where I left like I was really bad. That was frustrating for me and I was happy to come back strong. Beginning on the day after my last outing, I was really focused on my next start.”
After being named the Red Sox Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2010, Doubront has been slowed by injuries this season. Felix missed most of spring training due to elbow tightness, before spending two weeks on the disabled list in May with a strained groin.
Wednesday’s outing offered proof that Doubront is fully healthy.
And definitely not forgotten.
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The PawSox will look to climb a season-high 8 games over .500 on Thursday night as they face Syracuse at 7:00. I hope you’ll join us for radio coverage beginning with the pre-game show at 6:45 on the PawSox radio network and pawsox.com.
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