Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 4/28/13
If this was 2012, Felix Doubront’s outing might have snowballed, and Boston’s bullpen might have been left to pick up the pieces of another short start. Fortunately for the Red Sox, it is no longer 2012. Doubront kicked off his fourth start of the season in shaky fashion on Saturday. In the first inning, he gave up a hit, walked three, hit a batter and surrendered two runs while struggling to find the strike zone. A disastrous night seemed inevitable. But things began to click for Doubront after he escaped the rocky first frame with only minimal damage inflicted.  He settled down nicely, especially after the Red Sox’ offense posted four runs in the second inning to grab a lead, and he surrendered just one more run the rest of the way. Doubront eventually walked off the Fenway mound in the seventh inning following a job well done. The Red Sox have received tremendous starting pitching all season long, and it’s a big reason why they came away from Saturday’s victory with the best record in baseball. What’s been as impressive as any statistic, however, is the starters’ ability to overcome occasional rough patches. Whether it’s been escaping key jams, working through brief control issues or bouncing back from a rough inning or two, this year’s starting rotation has done an excellent job of making in-game adjustments. “Even in that situation to just allow the two runs, I thought he found a way to navigate through it and then as the evening went along, much better rhythm, much better tempo, worked quicker,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said of Doubront. “Still, he’s got the ability to get a lot of swing and miss on that changeup, swing and miss on that fastball, and again, to work into the seventh inning was a big lift once again tonight.” Farrell said that he never considered taking Doubront out while the lefty struggled through the first inning, and the reason was because the Red Sox needed him to get through the middle innings. If Doubront continued to walk the ballpark, however, Farrell might have eventually been left with no other choice. That’s a situation the Sox faced all too often last season. Now, there’s a growing confidence that even when the starters do back themselves into a corner, they’ll be able to punch their way out. It requires some trust — something it was hard to maintain when talking about the rotation last season — but it’s important to ensure the bullpen doesn’t get overworked. “The reminders are in between innings to pick up the tempo, but you can’t force it initially,” Farrell said when asked about how pitchers can find a rhythm quicker. “They’ve got to get a feel for the mound, even though it’s at home and he’s pitched here many times, still you’re getting accustomed to that start day. Fortunately, he’s been able to get into the rhythm we mentioned.” Doubront, who has been notorious for racking up high pitch counts early on in starts, appears to be learning from his veteran peers. He’s now worked into the seventh inning in two straight outings, and he has an impressive 3-0 record to show for it. Every team is going to go through rough patches when it comes to pitching. The Red Sox’ have been few and far between thus far. When they have come, though, we’ve seen a lot of resiliency, and that’s nearly as impressive as pure dominance. Have a question for Ricky Doyle? Send it to him via Twitter at @TheRickyDoyle or send it here.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: Adrien Broner uses Bruce Jenner zinger after win

ESPN explains reason for Dabo Swinney interview error

Brian Kelly: Kizer made right call on 2-point play

Jim Mora calls UCLA's upcoming schedule 'a complete injustice'

Tommy Tuberville returned to Auburn, lined up at Tiger Walk

WATCH: Arizona State pushes pile 20 yards on TD run


Jim McElwain still won't name Will Grier Florida's starter

Steve Smith has microfractures in back, out for Week 5

Cowboys want Brandon Weeden to attempt longer passes

Nebraska captain tells crowd 'I'm sorry we suck'

Report: Dolphins could fire some coaches if team loses to Jets

Georgia fans get #FireRicht trending on Twitter

Cormier tops Gustafsson at UFC 192

Robert Smith wants Braxton Miller back at QB

WATCH: Clemson, Swinney have locker room dance party

10 takeaways from Week 5 of the college football season

WATCH: Dabo Swinney interview awkwardly cut off

Ohio St. LB Darron Lee has message for fans after close win

WATCH: Swedish league player unties opponent's skates

Max Scherzer throws second no-hitter of the season

Ezekiel Elliott jokes he owes his OL a steak dinner

Mike Riley explains questionable pass play on third down

Torey Lovullo would be 'honored' by managerial offers

WATCH: Ohio State stops Indiana on 4th down to win game

McIlroy: Spieth, Day have made me hungry again

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

10 takeaways from Week 5 of the college football season

Rick Pitino and the shadows that never leave

Chad Johnson ... Steelers kicker?

Flacco deserves more from the Ravens

Time for Neymar's Barcelona

Seth Rollins, WWE depth, Divas and winning

Madison Keys and the future of women’s tennis

Most underrated games in NFL Week 4

What to watch in CFB Week 5

Starter strategies for final, tie-breaker and wild card games

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker