Doubront bounces back, just like Sox

Doubront bounces back, just like Sox
August 21, 2013, 11:45 pm
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SAN FRANCISCO -- Before the series finale Wednesday afternoon at AT&T Park, John Farrell sat in the dugout and mused that "today would be a good day for a win.''
      
Felix Doubront seemed an unlikely choice to lead the way. But he did.
      
Coming off two of his worst outings of the season, games in which he was shelled for 14 hits and 10 runs in just eight innings, Doubront was masterful, pitching eight innings of one-run ball as the Red Sox rolled over the San Francisco Giants, 12-1.
      
The victory gave the Sox a series win for the first time in their past four series.
      
"Once he got settled into the flow of the game,'' said Farrell, "he continued to use all of his pitches. I thought his curveball and his changeup were two that really slowed [the Giants] down. They're an aggressive swinging team and he was able to carry that rhythm, just the overall approach through the full eight innings of work.''
      
Doubront had also walked six in his past two starts, but on Wednesday, he got ahead of hitters and issued just one walk -- to the second hitter of the game -- in his eight innings.
      
And it wasn't just that Doubront didn't put hitters on base. He also succeeded in keeping his pitches down in the lower half of the strike zone.
      
"More strikes,'' said a satisfied Farrell. "Clearly, more strikes. And more quality strikes. He was down in the strike zone with his fastball more consistently. Today was a lot like his start three outings ago against Arizona when he was able to get down in the strike zone more consistently.''
     
Doubront agreed on the reason for his turnaround.
     
"Throwing the ball down [in the zone],'' he said. "In my bullpen, I focused on throwing the ball down and I was able to do that today.''
     
It helped that the Sox had provided him with an early lead -- two runs in the second, followed by three more in the third -- that enabled Doubront to attack the Giants' aggressive ineup.
     
"I like that,'' he said, ''when they're swinging and I'm throwing strikes. I can't get quick outs and it makes my work easier. The great offense also helped me shut down [the Giants].''
     
His effort Wednesday was more in keeping with the Doubront the Red Sox have seen for most of the season. From mid-May until early August, Doubront had a string of 16 straight starts in which he didn't give up more than three earned runs in any one.
     
"Felix was awesome,'' gushed Will Middlebrooks, who lent his supprt at the plate with a two-run homer in the second. "I don't think he missed a spot all day. Even the homer [to Joaquin Arias], I think, was a good pitch.''