Felix Doubront Offers Hope for Future by Rebounding After String of Struggles

Felix Doubront Offers Hope for Future by Rebounding After String of Struggles

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.

BOSTON — Even in losses, the Red Sox resort
to finding victories.

Although the Yankees blanked the Red Sox 2-0
on Thursday, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine beamed with pride about starter
Felix Doubront. It was an important outing for the southpaw, who is one of the
team's building blocks for the future.

Over his past five starts entering Thursday
night, Doubront had yielded at least four runs while failing to cross the
five-inning plateau each time. But the 24-year-old finally snapped the slump,
surrendering just two runs over 6 1/3 innings against the Yankees.

"You deal with
the player and, talking with him, he was very determined to right his ways,"
Valentine said. "I think today was a good step in that direction. If we
scored some runs, he would have gotten a win."

It was a huge boost in
confidence for Doubront. Minutes after his lackluster start against the Blue
Jays on Sept. 7, Valentine said the team was contemplating shutting him down
for the season.

These are the growing
pains for a youngster. Despite the adversity, he responded by striking out five
and logging his fourth quality start of the season against the Yankees. The
last Red Sox lefty to achieve that feat was Bill Lee in 1974.

Felix Doubront Offers Hope for Future by Rebounding After String of Struggles"This
year, the first half was very good, and then I [was] struggling in the second
half, and I learned from that," Doubront said. "I got a lot, a lot of
challenges to see, and I think I responded well. I think the second half wasn't
that good, but I just want to finish strong and get them next year."

His future prospects made this
start all the more significant. Had Doubront floundered again, the Red Sox
would've been overcome with additional pressure to shorten his 2012 season. His
mental toughness may have been challenged.

But he rebounded with a gutsy effort, throwing 105 pitches while doing his best to keep the Yankees in check. It's the type of
progress the Red Sox want to see as they evaluate Doubront's future with the
organization.

"I was just ready [for] when I see that kind of
situation again [and] how I was going to respond, and I responded pretty well," Doubront said. "I was happy with
myself, in that situation. I limited the damage in that [fourth] inning."

That was a "W" in itself for
Boston.

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