This is not a joke. Boston Red Sox starter Rick Porcello allowed only one earned run, but the Minnesota Twins scored four runs against him & the defense.
When the Red Sox win, they seem to win big, like the 15-4 victory a few days ago. When they lose, Boston seems to try to invent new ways to mess it up. It’s getting to the point where people could hold a 50/50 draw, with a giant board that has every possible way that a team could lose, and someone is definitely going to be lucky that night.
Today’s debacle may have gone on Porcello’s loss column, but it was the Red Sox defense that couldn’t hold its own. Specifically, Xander Bogaerts, the 23-year-old, sure-handed All-Star candidate who has been on absolute fire at the plate, made two errors that cost the team runs. Porcello ended up pitching for seven innings, allowing five hits and two walks while striking out five batters. If it wasn’t for the errors, Porcello would have had the victory, allowing only the one run instead of three more.
Seriously, what’s a starter gotta do to get some respect around here?
All that the media has done for months, including this platform, has been to pump the stream with news and opinions about how bad the Red Sox starting rotation played so far this season. With the exception of Steven Wright, Boston’s pitching staff has been dreadful in bad situations. When the team would finally climb their way back with the bats, the relievers like Koji Uehara and Craig Kimbrel, usually reliable closers, would cough up the game-winning runs in very uncharacteristic fashion.
Ironically, the same happened today, with Matt Barnes handing the Twins the victory by allowing a walk-off, three-run homer to Matt Kepler in the bottom of the 10th inning. However, the game would never have even gotten to that point if the uncharacteristic mistakes of the usually-reliable Bogaerts would never have happened.
Bogaerts doubled his error total with those two mistakes, dropping his fielding percentage to .982, providing the young man with at least some humility after making most of the pitchers he’s faced in recent games look foolish.
Porcello and the rest of the starters don’t need any more help to increase their ERA totals. One of them not named Wright actually had a shutdown kind of game and the Red Sox still found a way to blow it. One could sit there and play the ‘what if?’ game all night, with many of the games that the team has lost in other surprising fashions. However, there may already be a game set up for the 50/50 draw, so we won’t want to take any business away from that. It looks like a game that will pay out every night that they lose.
The problem is that it’s a game that is paying out more and more often than it should, if the Red Sox expect to win the American League East.