The Boston Red Sox suffered from poor pitching at the beginning of the season. As April has marched on the arms have seen a major improvement each day.
This season has not lived up to the expectations that Red Sox Nation had going into it after winning the World Series last year. In 2018 the Boston starting rotation was dominant from April through October, that hasn’t quite been the story in 2019. But never fear trusty Fenway Faithful things are looking up for the starting rotation as of late and that means good things for Boston.
The pitching has been one of the biggest question marks surrounding the team this season as nobody has been overtly good. If it were just one member of the rotation having a poor start to the year I don’t feel that it would be such a shock, but it’s been, everyone.
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Chris Sale has not only seen his velocity drop not only from last year but from inning to inning it dips. Rick Porcello who characteristically doesn’t give up many free passes has already walked 15 batters this year after only 48 in 2018. David Price has already given up 10 runs this season when he maxed out at 70 last year. Nathan Eovaldi hasn’t quite seemed his confident self and we would learn that he was having elbow issues that’d require surgery. Finally, Eduardo Rodriguez would shuck off the gameplan set forth to forge his own path that wouldn’t lead to success.
So now that we have a brief recap of the calamity that has been the 2019 Red Sox regular season to this point, where do we go from here? Luckily there’s nothing we can do so it’s out of our hands. However, the rotation seems to be doing plenty of work to get the ship back on course and their latest outings are showing that effort.
Though the velocity still hasn’t become the most consistent we’re seeing an evolution from Sale as we did in the past from Curt Schilling. As his career continued he became far more cerebral in his approach to the art of pitching. With his ability to muscle batters seemingly in the rearview mirror Sale is becoming a more artful pitcher and that showed when he struck out 10 in his last outing.
David Price is showing that confidence that he found during the postseason run this past fall. He’s attacking hitters and is working his pitches like he’s shown the capability to do. It’s evident that he’s feeling it again as he marched into Tropicana Field, a park he’s more than familiar with, and much like Sale he sent 10 batters down by way of the “K.”
Nasty Nate looked sharp in his last outing hitting his usual gun breaking speeds and unfortunately paid for it. He would have successful surgery to clear up the loose fragments in his elbow and should hopefully be back to his old self soon. Ricky Raindrops has also seemed to have a come around since the season began. He’s walked far less than he has been all season which has been what’s gotten him into trouble in 2019.
E-Rod has been the pitcher that has impressed me the most with his turnaround this season. His most recent outing was what we were all hoping for when the Red Sox would speak about him in spring training. He’d throw with pure confidence over 6 IP while only giving up a single run and ending with 7-3 K-BB.
The big thing that came through the screen while he pitched was his lack of fear. He would attack Miguel Cabrera and then even stick his tongue out and taunt him from the dugout. Just fantastic. He worked his changeup which is one of his best pitches and then would keep batters guessing by throwing the heat by them once they were expecting something offspeed. Not to forget that sweet new breaking ball that Dustin Pedroia taught him.
There is plenty of season left and for all, we know the Red Sox could go on a run and put this awful start to the season behind them. If they want to make it back to the postseason they’ll need the starting rotation on the top of their game. The Red Sox have one of the best rotations in all of baseball, they just need to remember who they are. If recent showings are any indication of what’s to come then I think Boston will be in a good position come October.