If the regular season ended right now, the Boston Red Sox would be playing in the Wild Card game. With that being said, who would be the starting pitcher?
The Boston Red Sox hold a playoff spot right now, which is surprising to some people because of how they’ve been playing lately.
Throughout the past few weeks we have watched this team be inconsistent on both sides of the game. Whenever the pitching is doing well, the offensive will be nonexistent, and when they’re hitting the ball, the pitching is mediocre.
But let’s say this team is able to stay in the playoff picture and play in the winner take all Wild Card game. My first question would obviously be, who will the Sox choose to start in game 163?
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In my eyes, Farrell has three options. The canditates would be David Price, Steven Wright, or Rick Porcello. I don’t think Drew Pomeranz or Eduardo Rodriguez will be considered since they have had multiple shaky starts for Boston.
To be honest, if Price wasn’t getting paid ridiculous amounts of money, he wouldn’t even be mentioned as a potential option to be the starter. When Price was signed last December, many people (including myself) were expecting Price to be the ace he has been for many years. With that being said, since he’s getting paid $30 million a year, the coaching staff might feel obligated to automatically start him in a Wild Card game even if he hasn’t been his best this year, which is petrifying to me.
Teams should pick the best pitcher on their staff to start the biggest game of the year and not have any other thoughts factor into their decision. It sounds so simple, but we see questionable moves made by managers that they later regret.
Next is Steven Wright. The All-Star knuckleballer has shown great strides this season and quickly became the diamond in the rough for the Red Sox. With the numbers he has put up this year, you would think that he would be starting in the Wild Card game, right?
Not so fast.
I can picture it now. If Wright was announced as the starter in the Wild Card game, how do you think the fans would react? Do you think the Sox would choose a guy who floats the ball over another pitcher who can blow it by hitters and has more playoff experience? These questions are important and if the time comes, Farrell is going to be on the hot seat when he is deciding who to start.
Last but not least, you’ve got the man who everyone hated last year, Rick Porcello. If I were the manager, this would be the player who would start. Now if the Sox are the home team during the Wild Card, it seems like a no-brainer to have Porcello start since he has shown a lot success this year at Fenway Park. So far this season, Porcello has an undefeated record of 11-0 with a 3.12 ERA.
And if the Sox need to travel to another stadium for the Wild Card game, I would still pick Porcello because he has simply been the biggest competitor all season long and never gives in during any situation when on the hill.
Is it scary to think that Farrell would pick someone to start the biggest game of the season just because he makes a lot of money and came here to pitch in games like these? Even though that person hasn’t had a very good season? Absolutely.
If the time comes, make the smart move, John. Don’t give in and pick the person everyone wants. Pick the person who deserves it and gives your team the best chance to win.