Red Sox: Rick Porcello needs to redeem himself against Yankees

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 20: Pitcher Rick Porcello #22 of the Boston Red Sox looks on after giving up a two-run home run to Michael Brantley #23 of the Cleveland Indians in the sixth inning of a game at Fenway Park on August 20, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 20: Pitcher Rick Porcello #22 of the Boston Red Sox looks on after giving up a two-run home run to Michael Brantley #23 of the Cleveland Indians in the sixth inning of a game at Fenway Park on August 20, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /
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The Boston Red Sox are in the most important stretch of their season and they have Rick Porcello taking the mound with the Yankees in town tonight.

Boston is in the thick of the most important portion of their calendar in 2019. The Red Sox have begun a 14-game stint that sees them facing only Tampa Bay and the Yankees. This marathon could essentially decide what the endgame for the Red Sox will be this season.

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Boston was able to take 2 out of 3 against Tampa even though they easily could’ve had a sweep. But the real stress kicks in tonight when the Yankees make their way to Fenway Park. New York will make Boston their home for the next four games and this could make or break the Sox this season. As dramatic as it sounds at this point in the year a sweep could fully turn the ship around and boost postseason hopes.

The Red Sox will be putting righty Rick Porcello on the mound tonight in the opening set of the series. Pretty Ricky is coming off of some not so pretty outings lately and has to redeem himself against the Evil Empire. That’s going to be easier said than done as Rick has what can only be described as an atrocious ERA against New York.

At this point in 2019, Porcello is 0-1 against the Yanks and has an astronomical 19.80 ERA in just 5IP. Those aren’t quite confidence boosting numbers as the Red Sox are in the midst of the most important stretch of their season. But this can be one of those memories we talk about when it’s all said and done. Just look to last year when Rick marched into Yankee Stadium and quieted the city that never sleeps.

This is lining up to be a similar moment for Porcello to shine especially in front of a ruckus Fenway Park crowd. Tonight’s clash is the epitome of a heavyweight fight and the Red Sox are Rocky Balboa to the Yankees’ Ivan Drago. Nobody is giving the Sox a chance to make any moves on the juggernaut and that is exactly what they need.

I can imagine the bulletin board in the Sox clubhouse is full of the headlines that are counting them out. This is the very team that won 108 games last season and went 11-3 in the postseason on their way to a fourth World Series in 15 years.

Rick Porcello is the same guy that was mowing down batters at the start of the game and then going to the bullpen the next night. It’s time to remember just how damn good this team and Rick Porcello are.

My big key for a Porcello victory is to not let the runs in. Now I know you’re yelling at your screen as if that’s the most obvious thing you’ve ever read, and it is. But one thing that Rick has been known for this season is blowing leads. It’s almost automatic that when the Red Sox get some runs across the board he’s going to give them back. So he needs to take the runs he’s given and not let the Yankees take an inch.

In a personal matter for Porcello, every outing is going to be under a microscope since he’s in a contract year. He’ll be a free agent when this season concludes no matter where the Red Sox finish in the standings.

He offered to take less money at the beginning of the year and Boston declined the extension, in hindsight that may have been wise on behalf of the Sox. But Rick needs to be lights-out for the rest of the year if he wants to get paid.

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This series will be a major deciding factor in what the story of 2019 is for the Boston Red Sox. It all starts tonight with Rick Porcello on the mound against the hated Yankees. We all know how strong the New York lineup is but we also know that on the right night Pretty Ricky can look like his Cy Young self. He needs to be that guy tonight as he not only seeks redemption for himself but the 2019 Red Sox.