Red Sox: Next on redemption tour is Rick Porcello, Chris Sale

BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 04: Rick Porcello
BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 04: Rick Porcello /

The Boston Red Sox staved off baseball elimination, but the comeback effort is now being trusted to a disappointing Rick Porcello and Chris Sale.

In 2016, the Boston Red Sox were run over by a steamroller emblazoned with the distasteful character of Chief Wahoo. If there was anything that could be called a baseball mugging the Red Sox were on the receiving end of a bully stick. This time around it had escalated to a baseball Hindenburg. The team embarrassed themselves with a display of baseball talent that my wife’s 15-year-old partially blind cat could have given the Astros a better challenge. Then came Sunday and a Lazarus moment.

Chris Sale had a slippery August and September with an occasional exceptional performance.  Sale certainly notched a considerable number of strikeouts, but his performance the last two games of his season were pathetic. In Sale’s last game of the regular season, he allowed four home runs in five innings. That, folks, was a mere warmup for his ALDS start giving up three more home runs.

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Sale historically slips in September and on the big stage, he suddenly developed a severe and an almost fatal dose of stage fright. The only thing knocking more than his knees were the Astros bats. Sale is like a new Bentley that gets you to your destination in class and style only to have none of the doors open. Is anyone now contemplating a new contract for Sale?

Sale was just the opening act in Houston as next up was Drew Pomeranz, who proceeded to show that Houston’s bats were for real.  Pomeranz was merely a tasty tidbit bit as Eduardo Rodriguez and Addison Reed brought their own gasoline filled Jerry cans to the mound. A return to Fenway Park and Doug Fister’s quick gift to the Astros certainly made me elated I did not succumb to buying game tickets, but now as suddenly as one can say David Price a glimmer of baseball hope has surfaced.

Price came to Boston with that playoff albatross firmly attached to his neck like some rhinestone jewelry that cried out failure and oh a failure he was. At least out of the bullpen Price had a small degree of psychological comeuppance in his past, but now he saved the Red Sox for at least a game four. Price is on the redemption tour and needs a few more to join him.

The offense also discovered that bats are not for decorative purposes with 15 hits and 10 runs to show the Astros what exactly the pain is like that they inflicted on the Red Sox in the first two games. This, of course, could be just a pause as Boston will eventually have to face off with Justin Verlander.

Price was joined on the redemption tour by Hanley Ramirez, who suddenly came to life as a run producer extraordinaire for at least one game.  Maybe it will give Xander Bogaerts some encouragement? That, however, is just one game that avoided the humiliation of another sweep and Boston’s hope rest with Rick Porcello.

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After the duds by Sale and Pomeranz a Porcello outing does not bode well. Porcello managed a double accomplishment of leading the American League in losses and home runs allowed. At home, Porcello has a 5.43 ERA and 20 home runs allowed – two figures that take warm and fuzzy out of my vocabulary.

For Porcello, the season has been a disaster, but all can be rectified with one start and not one of those infamous quality starts, but seven industrious innings where Porcello leaves to a standing ovation and a nice five-run cushion. But that is just my dream Du Jour after a 10-3 win.

For Red Sox fans in the background is always 2004 and that is all one must say. The Red Sox also were a notorious come from behind and extra inning team, so is it just possible to make it a come from behind series?

Next: John Farrell managing for his job in game three

In an article last week, I selected the Astros to move on in four games, but this is one instance where I certainly hope I have failed with my prognostication skills. If Porcello redeems himself, then the next one up is the intense Sale who certainly needs some redemption of his own.