Felix Doubront Could Be Shut Down for Season After Falling Victim to Home Runs

Felix Doubront Could Be Shut Down for Season After Falling Victim to Home Runs

Editor's note: NESN.com is going to tell the story of the 2012 Red Sox in Bobby Valentine's words. Each game day, we will select a Valentine quote that sums up the day for the Red Sox.

The road woes have spilled into Fenway Park.

After posting a 1-8 record on their recent West Coast swing, the Red
Sox fell victim to another clunker Friday. As has been the story recently, starting pitching problems caused the early deficit.

Felix Doubront can take the blame for much of Friday's 7-5 loss. Making his 25th start of the year, Doubront lasted only four innings — allowing runs in all but one. He gave up five runs on six hits,
including a home run apiece to Edwin Encarnacion and Moises Sierra.

"They're
a home run-hitting team," Valentine said. "We were trying to stay
away from the home run. We gave up a few. [Encarnacion], what's he got, 38, 39?
Made a couple good changeup pitches away and then he went out there looking for
it and hit a home run on it. [Doubront] had [Serra] on a 3-1 pitch, he grooved a
fastball and he hit it a long way."

Once the standout of the pitching staff in April and May,
Doubront is sputtering toward the finish line. In three starts since returning
from the disabled list — where the Red Sox attempted to offer him a breather — he's yielded 14 runs in 12 innings.

He's failed to give the Red Sox the length they need. He hasn't crossed the five-inning threshold since July 29, when he
gave up one run to the Yankees.

But Valentine cited Doubront's mental struggles, not his physical
production, for his recent string of struggles.

Felix Doubront Could Be Shut Down for Season After Falling Victim to Home Runs"I
think his stuff's pretty good," Valentine said. "First
run of the game, jammed all four hitters, gave up a run. The two-run inning, he
got the first two guys out, nine pitches. He just kind of lost concentration. I
think the stuff's all right. He says his arm is fine. Just got to bust through
the middle innings there."

Doubront has exceeded his career high for innings this
season, racking up 134 2/3 in 2012 so far. His previous career high was 129 1/3, a mark he achieved in the minors in 2008, splitting time between Greenville and Lancaster.

While the lefty didn't make himself available after the game
to discuss the hefty workload, Valentine said the team was contemplating
shutting him down for the rest of the regular season.

"We'll
discuss it," the skipper said.

Doubront is now winless in seven straight starts.

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