Boston Red Sox pitching staff hasn’t been consistent with the exception of Chris Sale – was Porcello just lucky last season winning the Cy Young?
Last season was the year of Rick Porcello. This season has been all about Chris Sale. There’s no clear cut two starter either as both Drew Pomeranz and Eduardo Rodriguez have had their own issues. Lest we also forget Steven Wright who was lost to a season ending injury. It just hasn’t been pretty and Porcello has not helped.
Porcello for the 4th time this season has allowed 10+ hits. While he’s able to get six innings of work in, he’s also consistently allowing multiples runs a game. His ERA hasn’t seen a dip since late May, he’s letting one inning ruin his game. Porcello has also only twice not thrown 100 times in a game. What else? Porcello has allowed eight hits or more in nine of his 14 starts this season including his seven starts.
Simply put, the man who got a major extension before he even threw a pitch for the Sox, has had an off year, followed by a career year and followed that back with another really bad start. The Josh Beckett Syndrome doesn’t bode well with fans. It’s beyond frustrating to watch and know your man is letting guys get into scoring position. It just stinks.
Porcello has got to be able to get out of innings unscathed. In just three innings, twice the starting inning of the ballgame, first against Baltimore and then last night with the Phillies, he’s allowed multiple runs. Two runs against the O’s and four runs against the Phils. That’s unacceptable. It’s not getting the job done and since throwing 100+ pitches isn’t an issue, he needs to start working counts and stop giving so many base hits.
In his game against the Yankees, he allowed four runs in the bottom of the 4th inning. No, he’s not getting the support he received last year but that’s no excuse for pitching the way he’s done so far through June. RP is getting $20 million this season and making $21 million each of the next two seasons. Some think that the Sox are doomed with the dead weight contracts of certain players right now.
We’re all hoping that Porcello can make adjustments. It’s almost as if teams have figured him out. With his current 3 – 8 record, 4.67 ERA, and 1.51 WHIP, it’s looking eerily similar to his 2012 numbers when he went 10 – 12 with a 4.59 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP. Another major killer for him has been surrendering so many long balls.
During Porcello’s 2016 Cy Young campaign, he gave up 23 home runs and had a 1.3 BB/9 ratio in 33 starts. This season, he’s given up 14 homers in 14 starts and his BB/9 ratio is up to 1.8. Averaging a long ball and two walks per nine isn’t helping his numbers.
If he can focus on getting strikes and work hitters productively, things will change. Porcello has the talent. He just needs to ground himself and go back to the ground ball that made him effective in 2016. His next start will be on Saturday against the Astros in Houston. Of course this goes without saying but he’s due for a W after going winless in his last four outings.
Photo Credit – Frank Franklin – AP