Doubront pitches 'excellent' but can't break winless skid

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Doubront pitches 'excellent' but can't break winless skid

BOSTON -- In your classic case of win-loss records being deceiving for starting pitchers, Felix Doubront allowed only two runs on four hits and five walks while striking out five in 6 13 innings on Thursday night against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park.
In the process, he picked up his ninth loss of the season.
Doubront is now winless in his last eight starts, and Thursday night marked his first quality start since July 29. That was a no-decision against New York at Yankee Stadium.
In those last eight starts, Doubront is 0-5. He pitched well enough of Thursday night to get his 11th win of the season. Had only his offense not been shut out.
"I thought Felix was excellent tonight," said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine. "The last few starts, he couldn't quite break through that challenging inning in the middle of the game. Today, in the fourth inning, he gave up a run but he broke through it. I thought he was excellent."
Seeing that Doubront had never pitched more than 25 innings in a season entering this year, there had been previous discussion about the possibility of shutting him down. He's now pitched 141 innings in 26 starts. And Valentine said Doubront was determined to continue to pitch the rest of the season that's seemingly lost.
"It's important for him," said Valentine. "He wants to do it. Talking to him in between starts, he was determined. He understood some of his situations that he didn't overcome in his previous games. This was a good game for him, that be broke through.
"You deal with the player, and I talked with him. He was very determined to right his ways. And I think today was a good step in that direction. If we cored some runs, we would've gotten a win."

McAdam: For Dombrowski and Red Sox, the future is now

McAdam: For Dombrowski and Red Sox, the future is now

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Dave Dombrowski has jumped in. All in. With both feet.

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For an executive with a reputation for making bold moves, Dombrowski may have made his boldest one yet Tueday by shipping arguably the organization's best position player prospect (Yoan Moncada) and its best pitching prospect (Michael Kopech), along with two others, to the Chicago White Sox for lefty ace Chris Sale.

Adding Sale to a rotation that already includes reigning Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello and David Price gives the Red Sox the American League's best rotation and makes the Sox the team to beat in the A.L.

Hired 17 months ago with a mandate to make the Red Sox winners again after three last-place finishes in the span of four seasons, Dombrowski has acted aggressively and decisively.

Since then, he's obtained Price, Craig Kimbrel, Carson Smith, Drew Pomeranz, Tyler Thornburg and Sale. That translates into three lefty starters and three back-end power arms in the bullpen.

Of course, all those moves have come at a significant cost. Dombrowski has gone through the Red Sox' minor-league system and shredded it, sacrificing Anderson Espinoza, Manuel Margot, Javier Guerra, and now, Moncada and Kopech.

The pitching, in particular, has been stripped bare, with Espinoza and Kopech representing the two best arms in the system. And in Moncada, the Sox gave up on arguably the single most talented propsect in the entire sport.

At a time when teams protect their best young players as though their existence depends on them, Dombrowski has demonstrated a willingess to move them for a chance to win now.

In exchange, the Sox have now built a super rotation, with three front-line starters, augmented by two other lefties (Pomeranz and Eduardo Rodriguez) along with Steven Wright and Clay Buchholz.

It's a virtual certainty that the Sox will move one of those arms now, in a market where there's virtually no quality free-agent starters available.

Buchholz, who stands to earn $13.5 million in 2017, would give them payroll relief, while Rodriguez, because of his youth and upside, might give the team its biggest return.

Dombrowski's moves create a window for the Red Sox. Sale's deal runs through 2019, while Price has an opt-out in his deal after 2018.

That creates some urgency for the Red Sox to capitalize on the strength of their rotation and a nucleus of young position players -- Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Andrew Benintendi -- and win multiple titles in the next few seasons.

Anything less will be considered a failure.

It's championship-or-bust time at Fenway.

Players, analysts weigh in on Chris Sale trade

Players, analysts weigh in on Chris Sale trade

The Red Sox made a major splash with Tuesday’s Chris Sale, the second swap of the day after acquiring Tyler Thornburg from the Brewers. 

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While Boston had to give up top prospect Yoan Moncada and three other legitimate prospects in the trade, the deal gives them a very deep starting rotation that figures to see last offseason’s big acquisition -- David Price -- end up as Boston’s No. 3 starter. 

Here’s what the reaction looked like as the trade came down: 

CSN baseball analyst Lou Merloni gave the deal his stamp of approval. 

Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan cautioned against thinking the Red Sox at a discount. 

Blake Swihart was not one of the four prospects involved in the deal, and he’ll have a heck of a team to work with going forward. 

In Tampa, Chris Archer realized the AL East has a new ace. 

And one Sox fan pointed out that Dave Dombrowski has absolutely dumped out what was once a large and top-heavy chest of prospects.