Red Sox - 302 000 000 002 - 7 16 1 Astros - 012 000 002 000 - 5 11 3
Betts, RFLefty Henry Owens gets the call to fill Joe Kelly's spot in the rotation. Owens, who will turn 24 in July, made 11 starts for the Red Sox last season, with a 4.57 ERA. He has made three starts for Pawtucket this month, allowing only two earned runs in 18 innings (1.00 ERA). A definite concern, however, is Owens's 10 walks in those 18 innings. He also struggled with his command in spring training (nine walks in 13.1 IP).
The Red Sox's starting pitchers have the worst ERA in the AL: 5.38 ERA. (Their team ERA (4.83) is second from last.) Outside of knuckleballer Steven Wright, it's pretty ugly:
Boston leads the AL with 83 runs scored, and is second in team OPS, so with some decent outings from the starters, the Red Sox could be much better than their 8-9 record.GS ERA Steven Wright 3 1.40 Rick Porcello 3 4.66 Clay Buchholz 4 6.33 David Price 4 7.06 Joe Kelly 3 9.35
Over in Los Angeles, Kenta Maeda is only the third pitcher in major league history to give up one run in his first four starts (25.1 IP, 0.36 ERA). Elias reports: "Fernando Valenzuela allowed just one run over 36 innings in his first four starts for the Dodgers in 1981. George McQuillan is the other to do so in the modern era, having allowed just one run in 33 innings over his first four starts in 1907 for the Phillies."
Also: The Cubs have allowed only 38 runs and 103 hits through 17 games. The 103 hits are the fewest allowed by the team through the first 17 games of a season since 1908 (100), which was also the last time the Cubs won the World Series.