Ranaudo set for MLB debut vs. hometown Yankees

Ranaudo set for MLB debut vs. hometown Yankees
August 1, 2014, 6:30 pm

BOSTON - It doesn't get any bigger than this for Anthony Ranaudo.

The 6-foot-7 righty from New Jersey makes his MLB debut for the Red Sox against his hometown Yankees Friday night at Fenway Park.

Hey Anthony, those are butterflies you're feeling - especially when Derek Jeter steps to the plate.

But if Ranaudo settles in early and just does what he's been doing all season in Pawtucket, everything should be just fine.

In 21 starts with the PawSox this season, Ranaudo is 12-4 with a 2.41 ERA over 119.1 innings. He's got 99 strikeouts and allowed 49 walks.

Ranaudo is taking John Lackey's spot in the rotation for tonight anyways, with Lackey being shipped off to St. Louis at Thursday's trade deadline.

"Someone who's continued to build on a breakout out year last year," John Farrell said of Ranaudo. "Has thrown the ball very consistently, very well while at Triple-A all year. We'll get a chance to see his first action here tonight."

Over his last 17.2 innings pitched, Ranaudo has allowed just 2 earned runs. He's given up 1 or no runs in 5 of his last 6 starts beginning on June 25, going 5-0 with a 2.02 ERA in that stretch.

"The one thing he's done seemingly all year while in Pawtucket is he's gotten a high percentage of his outs with fastballs," Farrell said. "He's gotten some swing and miss. He's been able to tighten up his breaking ball a little bit more than a year ago and I think that's just part of his overall progression. So the ability to throw the breaking ball behind in the count has been more readily available to him. And he's pitched with a lot of confidence throughout the course of the year."

Clay Buchholz - who has suddenly become the veteran of the staff - remembers how he felt during his first career start.

"I was definitely nervous," Buchholz admitted. "I walked Chone Figgins on four pitches and then settled down a little bit."

But Buchholz knows just how huge the moment will be for Ranaudo, who has undoubtedly been working towards it his entire life.

"It's basically everything that you ever dreamed about wanting to do growing up, while growing up," Buchholz said. "You only get to do it one time and call it your first start. So there's a lot of weight on your shoulders for at least the first couple pitches and then like I said earlier, it's just another game and you got to try to get the hitter out and miss the fat part of the bat."