Eduardo Rodriguez came back from the disabled list and pitched really well. Combined with Chris Sale and David Price, the Red Sox are 18-0 when they start.
We are in the last month of the regular season. The Boston Red Sox have owned the New York Yankees all season and will win the division once again. However, it’s all about how this team produces in the postseason for the year to be a successful one. The offense has been great, even against good competition. The pitching is a concern though.
Eduardo Rodriguez came back from the disabled list on Saturday and pitched great against the Chicago White Sox. Rodriguez struck out 10 of his first 12 batters he faced. He also didn’t let up a hit until the fifth inning.
Then on Sunday, Brian Johnson pitched awful. He gave up seven hits, four runs and had only two strikeouts. His ERA is 4.36.
Sale hasn’t pitched in weeks due to shoulder inflammation and Price skipped his start Monday after being hit by a line drive last week against the Miami Marlins. Overall, the starting pitching needs to be better besides Sale, Price, and Rodriguez. None of those three have won a postseason game yet either.
Let’s look at how the pitching has been against potential playoff teams. Against the Cleveland Indians, their record is 2-2 with 3.75 ERA. The Red Sox have had the Yankees’ number all season, going 8-5 with a 4.66 ERA against New York. They are split with the Houston Astros at 2-2 with a 4.50 ERA. Finally, against the Oakland Athletics, the Red Sox are 2-4 with a 4.33 ERA.
It seems after Price, Sale, and Rodriguez, they don’t have a reliable starter to be able to pitch well and last long in a game.
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Nathan Eovaldi has been questionable lately when he’s pitching. Last week, Pedro Martinez saw something in his delivery and worked with Eovaldi to improve his mechanics. In Monday’s start against the Braves he pitched better and gave up zero runs.
Against the Indians, Eovaldi is 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA. He’s 1-1 with a 2.93 ERA versus the Yankees and 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA when he faced the A’s as a member of the Tampa Bay Rays. He hasn’t pitched against the Athletics in a Red Sox uniform yet this season. With the Astros coming to Fenway this weekend you might see him pitch during that series.
Rick Porcello can be so unpredictable. Sometimes he can pitch really great and sometimes the complete opposite. Porcello is 15-7 on the year but his ERA is 4.27, which is pretty high. Against Cleveland, Porcello is 0-1 with a 6.43 ERA. That’s not good at all if the Red Sox expect to play them in the playoffs. However, against the Yankees, his ERA is 2.53 and is 2-0. He’s 0-1 with a 7.50 ERA against Oakland. Finally, versus the Astros, 1-0 with a 2.84 ERA.
In Porcello’s last three starts though he’s 0-2 with a 6.35 ERA and 21 strikeouts. He has a few more starts left until the postseason so hopefully, he pitches better.
I don’t see Johnson, who is 4-4 with a 4.36 ERA, making the playoff roster as a starter in the rotation. However, Hector Velazquez might, as he’s 7-2 with a 3.24 ERA.
For Rodriguez to come back from the disabled list and pitch the way he did Saturday night is pretty incredible. It’s really what the Red Sox have been needing – another starter pitching well that isn’t named Chris Sale or David Price. If the other starters can also pitch late in games it would be less stress on the bullpen. They have a month to figure it out before the real test begins.