Originally posted on Ted's Army  |  Last updated 5/23/12


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"Felix had his good stuff," said Bobby Valentine. "He was battling the whole way. He just happened to pick the night when the opposing pitcher (Brian Matusz) had good stuff and shut us down."
"Those things happen," shrugged Doubront, 4-2. "I just tried to stay calm and go deep into the game to get a chance to let our guys do the job and score some runs."
After allowing Tolleson's shot in the second, the rookie lefty retired 13 of his last 15 batters, including the final three by strikeout. In fact, five of the last seven outs Doubront recorded were by strikeout.
"All my pitches were working," said Doubront, "two-seamer, changeup . . . " 

CSNNE | Doubront brings 'good stuff' for Sox despite loss

I mentioned in the recap last night that you could look at the loss as an optimist or a pessimist. You could do the same with our third starter spot.

The pessimist would point out that Clay Buchholz is awful. (I must be a pessimist, because this seems to be all I can talk about.) I won't bore you with stats -- it's just a lot of high numbers that should be low, and low numbers that should be high.

The optimist would say our number 3 guy is Felix Doubront. Last night he dropped his ERA below 4.00, and his K/9 is now above 9.00 after he fanned nine in six innings. The biggest red flag is his WHIP: 1.42. I thought this might suggest some luck -- just stranded a bunch of baserunners in a Matsuzakian stroke of fortune -- but his FIP is 3.38, and his xFIP is 3.58. His opponent BABIP is .317. So if anything, it sounds like he might be a bit unlucky.

This is great news for the Sox going forward. Now if he can keep up this performance and start to build up his strength -- he needs to start going more than six innings -- we might not have to worry about Buchholz.

(Which is good, because Buchholz is terrible.)

On page 2, Cody Ross is feeling better.

“I was just trying to be as positive mentally as I could be to try to trick myself into thinking that nothing was wrong and I could go back out there and play,” Ross said last night after the Red Sox’ 4-1 loss to the Baltimore Orioles. “But it’s hard to deny the fact that there’s a break or small fracture. Let it heal, let it rest and get back at it as soon as I can.”

General manager Ben Cherington said the Red Sox medical staff is confident Ross will recover with “conservative treatment.” Manager Bobby Valentine even suggested he could return after a couple of weeks (typical recovery time from a navicular fracture ranges from 6-8 weeks), although Cherington cautioned against setting a timetable until after Ross is able to shed the walking boot he has worn since Monday.

“Worst case, it’s not as bad as we thought it was (Monday),” Valentine said. “At best case, it’s much better. But at worse case, it seems like it’s a couple of weeks, not multiples.”

Herald | 'Good signs' for Cody Ross

Great news. I really have no interest in Adrian Gonzalez playing six weeks in right field. And I don't have much more interest in a Daniel Nava-Marlon Byrd-Scott Podsednik.

Normally I preach patience with coming back from injuries, because I fear re-injuries. Now? Not really. If he comes back in a couple weeks and can play a few weeks but then hurts himself again, it'll be OK because Ryan Sweeney will be back and Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford will be closer to returns. Time is of the essence. I'm not trying to treat Ross' health like a commodity, but from a team standpoint that situation would be OK.

CSNNE | Ross faces reality of injury, hopes to be back soon | Nothing doing for Sox offense against O's, Matusz | Herald | Sox whiff vs. Orioles | Kevin Youkilis makes an impact | Matt Albers no longer owns Orioles | Globe | Checked swings | Ross could be back much sooner than expected | ESPNBoston | Brian Matusz sharp, leads Orioles past Red Sox | Kevin Youkilis back, but for good?

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