For Monday’s series opener against the Yankees, the Red Sox will send Eduardo Rodriguez to the mound to face Ivan Nova.
Rodriguez’s last start came more than the usual five or six days prior. Instead, the Sox pushed his next outing until Monday to keep his arm from being overworked. Interim manager Torey Lovullo said Wednesday that he and the team don’t want to “ramp [Rodriguez] up to 200 innings,” though he could probably handle it. With 48 1/3 innings pitched in Triple-A this season and 92 1/3 up with the big club, Rodriguez has logged 140 2/3 innings total this year.
“We’re trying to manage his time and his workload, and this is a way to give him a couple extra days. It makes sense for us,” Lovullo said Tuesday.
The lefty pitched opposite the Royals on Aug. 23, lasting six innings and giving up just two earned runs, though four were scored with him on the mound. He allowed seven hits and struck out just one batter. With a no-decision his reward in the start, Rodriguez’s season record remains 7-5, though his ERA improved to 4.39.
This season Rodriguez has seen the Yankees twice, recording a 1-1 mark in those two outings with a 2.70 ERA in 13 1/3 innings. Conceding four earned runs to New York in total, two per start, on 11 hits, he has struck out seven as well and walked three for a WHIP of 1.050. With Rodriguez on the mound, the Yankees slash .234/.294/.447 with three home runs and a double.
Nova has faced the Red Sox 10 times in his career, nine of which were starting appearances and one of which was earlier this season on July 11 in Boston. He gave up four runs in that game over 6 2/3 innings and took the loss. Including the other nine appearances, Nova has a 5.05 ERA against the Red Sox with a 3-4 record in 51 2/3 innings. He’s given up 11 earned runs on 34 hits and has 35 strikeouts. Boston batters slash .299/.365/.455 vs. Nova and have collected 26 doubles, a triple and 13 home runs.
With a 5-6 record and a 4.50 ERA in 11 starts this season, Nova has a 1.34 WHIP and 39 strikeouts in 62 innings. His most recent start was a loss against the Astros on Tuesday as he surrendered seven earned runs in four frames with as many walks and one strikeout. The outing was his shortest of the year, and he had never pitched fewer than five innings all season.
Nova also recorded a shorter start in his previous outing vs. the Indians on Aug. 20, allowing three earned runs on six hits with two walks and four strikeouts in five frames.
“It was not a good game today,” Nova said after the Tuesday loss. “It was bad that I have two bad starts in a row and I can’t help the team to win games, especially this late in the season. We are fighting for a spot in the playoffs, and pitching a game like this, it doesn’t help the team and doesn’t help myself.”
Yankees vs. Rodriguez (LHP)
Jacoby Ellsbury (7 plate appearances): .571 AVG/.571 OBP/1.429 SLG, 2 HR, 2 RBIs, 1 strikeout
Brett Gardner (7): .167/.167/.167, 1 strikeout
Alex Rodriguez (7): .500/.571/1.167, 1 double, 1 HR, 2 RBIs, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
Mark Teixeira (6): .000/.333/.000, 2 walks
Didi Gregorius (5): .200/.200/.200
Chase Headley (5): .000/.200/.000, 1 strikeout
Chris Young (5): .200/.200/.200
Brendan Ryan (3): .333/.333/.333, 2 strikeouts
John Ryan Murphy has one strikeout in five plate appearances vs. Rodriguez.
Red Sox vs. Nova (RHP)
David Ortiz (26 plate appearances): .364 AVG/462 OBP/.591 SLG, 2 doubles, 1 HR, 4 RBIs, 4 walks, 1 strikeout
Alejandro De Aza (10): .700/.700/1.000, 1 home run, 1 RBI, 2 strikeouts
Xander Bogaerts (9): .125/.222/.125, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
Ryan Hanigan (8): .250/.250/1.000, 2 HR, 4 RBIs, 1 strikeout
Pablo Sandoval (6): .333/.333/.500, 1 double
Jackie Bradley Jr. (5): .200/.200/.200, 2 strikeouts
Mookie Betts (3): .333/.333/.667, 1 double
Brock Holt (3): .333/.333/.333, 1 strikeout
Hanley Ramirez (3): .667/.667/1.667, 1 HR, 2 RBIs, 1 strikeout