Rick Porcello gives the Red Sox a momentum swinging performance
The Boston Red Sox have been surging as of late and a lights-out performance from veteran righty Rick Porcello could swing the AL East momentum their way.
Last night against the Twins Rick Porcello took the mound and pitched the dictionary definition of a gem. What he did for the Red Sox last night was give a mast class in the art of pitching. This isn’t the first time the veteran right-hander has stepped up when his team has needed him the most. And his efforts last night could mean big things down the road for Boston.
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Many of us will remember 2018 as all rainbows and sunshine but it wasn’t necessarily that nice the entire season. There was a patch where the Red Sox his a skid and fell out of their groove. Boston went into Minnesota looking to get back on track but quickly ran into a Twins buzzsaw. They would lose the first two games of the series handily, dropping their record to 49-26.
Then Porcello would take the mound in the series finale and absolutely dominate the Twins. Much like last night, he would throw for 7IP and only give one hit while earning 5K’s. Boston would win the game 9-2 and ride that performance all the way to the World Series.
It was on that night and with that effort from “Pretty Ricky” that the Sox would turn the page on one of the few down points of an otherwise dominant campaign. For those watching the game last night, that feeling was coursing through our veins. The Twins have been one of the most dominant teams in all of baseball this season and Porcello was able to keep them to just 4H/1BB/8K in 7IP.
He doesn’t get as much attention as Chris Sale or David Price after these types of outings but Rick Porcello is every bit as good and as much a contributor as the others. After the game last night Alex Cora was very honest with what he saw from the righty and was very pleased.
"“He did a tremendous job mixing up his pitches, using the fastball in certain spots,” manager Alex Cora told reporters after the game, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “That’s the best lineup in baseball. He kept them off balance, weak contact. He was in control.”"
Last night was a momentum shift, it may not seem like it on the surface but it absolutely was. The Red Sox don’t need to sweet Minnesota but if they can in the series that will be a major boost for their charge to the AL East thrown. Boston sits just 5.5 games back and has a pair of winnable tilts against Toronto and Chicago. Then they head to London to face the Yankees and have a real chance at climbing the standings.
"“He gave us what we needed. We were very limited today in the bullpen and we needed him to get deep into the game,” Cora added. “And he did more than that. He dominated for seven and gave us a chance to win the game.”"
Boston has now won six games in a row and has shown that they have far more grit than what they showed in the early parts of the season. For the first time in 2019, it feels like every aspect of the game is clicking and complementing one another. If the bats are cold then the pitching has been dominating and vice versa. When Price gave up 6 runs quickly in his last outing the bats came to back him up.
Things are shifting in the AL East and last night was just another glimpse into that change. The Yankees and Rays have run roughshod over Boston all season but now the Red Sox are remembering just how good they truly are. The effort by Rick Porcello last night was just another look into what this team is capable of and the rest of the division was put on notice.