Originally written 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

Brazen Buckeye blocks Urban Meyer's car

Jaguars GM: Justin Blackmon's NFL career likely over

WATCH: Rays rookie hits first HR, gets ignored by teammates

Email shows Ravens tipped off Colts about deflated footballs

Report: Mexico in talks with Marcelo Bielsa for coaching job


Brady: Never thought about air pressure until refs inflated to 16 PSI

Report suggests C.J. Wilson’s teammates not happy he’s seeking season ending surgery

Clowney’s father arrested for attempted murder outside club

Report: L.A.-area venues wary of temporarily hosting NFL teams

Jimmy Graham to block for Marshawn 75 percent of time

Kobe Bryant not sure if 2015-16 is his final NBA season

Fabricio Werdum open to rematch with Fedor

Poker pro Daniel Negreanu wants to partially own Vegas NHL team

Penn State modernizes with new shield logo

UT preview: Why the Volunteers can win the national title

WATCH: Jordan embarrassed by camper over his shoes

Rice: 'I can understand why some people will never forgive me'

Rod Marinelli: “Fortunate” to go through 0-16 season with Lions

WATCH: Jimmy Rollins gets big ovation in return to Philly

2015 Premier League preview: Avoiding relegation

NHL and MLB Advanced Media announce $1.2 billion deal

Knicks analyst Walt Frazier isn’t very enthused about team’s chances next season

Dave Dombrowski is out as Tigers GM

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

2015 Premier League preview: Avoiding relegation

Kris Bryant on changing to feet-first slide: ‘I only have one head’

MLB season in NY better than expected

Adrian Beltre gets mad when assaulted after HR

Lindsey Vonn shows support for Tiger

Notre Dame doesn't need a conference

Rex takes jabs at Jets' management

Sanchez: It's 'crazy' to call Chip racist

Ronda Rousey calls out Cyborg

Five most underrated players in the NFL

Five potential NFL salary cap casualties this preseason

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker