Since his Cy Young 2016 campaign, Rick Porcello has been, well, not very good. In 2017, he went 11-17 with a 4.65 ERA. Last season, he finished 17-7 with a marginally better 4.28 ERA. His record would have more closely matched his other numbers had the Red Sox otherworldly offense not bailed him out so often. It is for that reason that, unlike Chris Sale, Porcello does not get the benefit of the doubt after a very poor start.
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In fairness, most of the damage to his ERA came in his first two outings, across which he surrendered 11 earned runs in 7.1 innings. However, barring his last outing, he’s struggled to stay out of trouble. Five walks in his third start saw him leave after just four innings, and he once again is having trouble keeping the ball in the yard.
Yes, his final outing of the month was masterful, as he shut out the Oakland A’s while striking out eight in eight innings. However, his 1.71 WHIP is alarming, to say the least. He’s already surrendered 36 hits, including five home runs, and 17 walks. His control has been shaky, and he’s been far too hittable.
The Red Sox offense will likely have to come to Porcello’s rescue regularly again, and they probably won’t be able to save him as often as they did last year. He’s had more than two years to rediscover whatever magic he found in 2016, and so far has come up empty. So far, he’s given us little reason to believe that his season will provide more positive results.