High pitch count gets best of Doubront once again

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High pitch count gets best of Doubront once again

BOSTON -- Three quarters of the outs Felix Doubront recorded Tuesday night were by strikeout.

Unfortunately for Doubront and the Red Sox, that translated into just 12 outs.

In the shortest outing of his career, Doubront fanned eight, but with 94 pitches after four innings, he was done early in a 5-3 loss to the Oakland A's (By comparison, Oakland starter Jarrod Parker 98 pitches, but lasted 6 23 innings).

"That was a little different Felix," said Bobby Valentine. "He never really had his two-seamer tonight. Tonight, he was behind virtually every hitter. He tried to battle through it without his real bread-and-butter."

High pitch counts have been an issue for Doubront in virtually all of his previous starts this season, but Tuesday night, was different, according to Valentine.

"This was not what we've seen the entire time with his pitch count," the manager said. "His pitch count was up today because he was behind in the count. Normally, we've seen him get ahead in the count and not (be able to) put the guy away. He'd be one ball, two strikes then go to 3-and-2 and get some foul balls before (he got the out) and have the pitch count accumulate.

"But today, the strike zone was a little elusive."

Part of the problem was the cold, raw weather conditions which made getting the proper grip on his two-seamer tough at times.

"I couldn't feel my grip sometimes," said Doubront. "I left a couple of balls out over the strike zone. I was behind the hitters a lot of time and it's important to throw the first two pitches in the strike zone."

Doubront was nicked for a run in the first thanks to two singles, a wild pitch and a walk.

He managed to strand Kila Ka'aihue on third following a leadoff double in the second, and retired the side in order in the third before the A's erupted for four runs in the fourth.

Sandoval 'starting from scratch' after career had 'fallen into an abyss'

Sandoval 'starting from scratch' after career had 'fallen into an abyss'

The Pablo Sandoval redemption tour is underway as the former World Series MVP tries to revive his career after two disastrous seasons with the Red Sox organization.

In an interview with ESPN Deportes, he admits to being “complacent” during his first two seasons in Boston after signing a five-year, $95 million deal. 

"My career had fallen into an abyss because I was so complacent with things that I had already accomplished," Sandoval said. "I did not work hard in order to achieve more and to remain at the level of the player that I am and that I can be."

After dealing Travis Shaw to the Brewers, Sandoval is expected to be the Red Sox primary third baseman in 2017.

"I am not taking anything for granted," he said. "I am here to work hard. I'm not thinking about the position or not. I am starting from scratch, and I am here to show what I can do on the field."

The 30-year-old says he’s following a “really strict routine” this offseason, and it shows. In a recent photo, Sandoval appears noticeably thinner. Sandoval says his wife giving birth to “Baby Panda” has served as inspiration.

"Watching 'Baby Panda' grow up and that he gets the opportunity to see his father play in the majors for seven, eight more years, to get back to the success I had, that's my motivation every day," Sandoval said. "The people that I surround myself with now and my family, they are the key to my success. This has been a life lesson."

Tanguay: Could Red Sox ownership be going for it now, then sell the team?

Tanguay: Could Red Sox ownership be going for it now, then sell the team?

Could John Henry sell ownership of the Boston Red Sox anytime soon, or does he want to keep winning?  Shaughnessy, Merloni, and Tanguay debate.