Red Sox-Angels Preview
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The difference between the two pitchers scheduled to start Friday's game between the Los Angeles Angels and Boston Red Sox couldn't be bigger, considering how each has pitched this season.
Red Sox starter Rick Porcello has won five starts in a row and has won seven consecutive decisions overall. He also won his first five starts of the season and is 13-2 for the season.
Lincecum, meanwhile, is coming off his worst start of the season after joining the Angels on June 18. He gave up eight runs in just 1 1/3 innings in his last start July 24 against Houston. Overall, he is 2-4 with an 8.70 ERA in seven starts.
While Porcello has been hot overall, the Angels can lean on the idea that Porcello is beatable on the road. His splits show that he is 10-0 with a 3.21 ERA in 11 starts at Fenway.
"I just feel good (at Fenway)," Porcello told Boston.com. "I feel comfortable pitching in front of our crowd."
Red Sox manager John Farrell sees the same thing.
"Rick is in a very good place ... in Fenway," Farrell said. "You talk about dependable and reliable, he embodies that. He epitomizes that."
The road, though, has not been quite as good to Porcello. He is 3-2 with a 4.02 ERA in nine starts away from Fenway. In fact, he's won on the road only once since the end of April.
It would seem, however, that Porcello doesn't need to be on the top of his game Friday considering the struggles of Lincecum, whom the Angels signed out of desperation amid an influx of injuries to their starting pitchers.
Lincecum had hip surgery last December and appeared to be a good pick-up for the club after he made his first start, giving up just one run in six innings against Oakland.
But he hasn't been able to last six innings in any of his six starts since, and has failed to last even five innings in four of seven of his starts, taxing the Angels bullpen.
"I'm confident in the process, that this is part of what I'm going through right now," Lincecum told MLB.com after his last start. "If it takes going through this, then it takes going through this. And if they have to make a decision that puts me in a different position, then I'll be open to that. But at the same time, I'm definitely going to go after this as a starter and still keep grinding it out that way, and try to give my team a chance to win. I haven't been doing that."
Though he's a two-time Cy Young award winner, Lincecum did not pitch well against the Red Sox earlier in his career when he was a better pitcher. Pitching in the National League, however, Lincecum has faced Boston only twice in his career, going 0-2 with a 10.13 ERA.
Likewise, Porcello didn't pitch well against the Angels while pitching against them as a member of the Detroit Tigers, going 4-6 with a 6.82 ERA in 13 career starts.