Doubront runs into big trouble in 3rd inning

Doubront runs into big trouble in 3rd inning
April 8, 2014, 11:15 pm

BOSTON — Aside from a leadoff walk, everything looked fine for Felix Doubront over the first two innings Tuesday night.
     
Doubront froze a runner at first base and retired six hitters in a row after issuing a free pass to Texas Rangers' outfielder Shin-Soo Choo.
     
But in the third inning, it all came unraveled for Doubront. And in a hurry.
     
Doubront was pounded for six hits and two walks in the third and couldn't finish the inning, leading to the shortest start of his career and a long night for the Red Sox, who lost 10-7 to Texas.
     
"I started being too perfect,'' said Doubront, "and overthrow. I started doing too much.''
     
Doubront needed nearly 40 pitches to get just two outs before being lifted for Burke Badenhop and walked the last two hitters he faced, the second of which forced in a run.
     
In all, the last seven hitters Doubront faced managed to get on base.
     
Manager John Farrell theorized that Doubront might have been fatigued at that point, given how long the inning lasted -- Texas sent 11 hitters to the plate, 10 against Doubront -- but the pitcher thought otherwise.     

"Not really," said Doubront. "I wasn't tired. I don't know. I can't explain what happened. I was feeling really good during the first two innings and the whole day, and in the bullpen (beforehand). Then you forget and you start doing too much and I think that was what happened."
     
The night constituted the shortest start of Doubront's career, shorter even than an a three-inning start in Oakland on Sept 1, 2012.
     
"It's hard to explain," shrugged Doubront. "I don't know what happened. It was one of those games."
     
"He got the first two innings in great shape,'' said Farrell. "Then after the home run to (Robinson) Chirinos (to open the third), he started to lose command of the strike zone a little bit."
     
To be fair, Doubront was the victim of some misfortune along the way. He allowed a double into the right field corner that was little more than a glorified chopper than managed to snake through the infield and hug the line. Then, a blooper from Adrian Beltre fell in between three Red Sox fielders in pursuit, further extending the inning.
     
But other balls were squared up and there was little luck involved.
     
Farrell said Doubront has pitched with better confidence this season in his two starts. But in both outings, a bad inning proved to be his undoing.
     
"But I think he's taken the mound aggressively," said Farrell. "He's attacked the strike zone and yet tonight, the third inning was obviously not the way it was intended."