Red Sox need more from slumping pitcher Rick Porcello this season
Rick Porcello‘s first half has been pretty unsatisfactory. For the Boston Red Sox to have a real shot at the postseason, the righty has got to be much better.
After a tough start to the 2019 season, and it’s only gotten worse forRed Sox starter, Rick Porcello. In his last seven starts, the right-hander has given up 36 runs – all of which were earned. With plenty of run support during the first half, Porcello just hasn’t been able to get himself going the way he has over the years.
What the Red Sox are desperate for is for the veteran to recover some of his 2016 form, which saw him win the Cy Young Award that year. A boost in performance for Porcello would give the Red Sox a much-needed push in their bid to make the postseason this season, and, ultimately, make some noise there.
Last night’s start for Porcello saw him reach his boiling point. In an important outing, against the AL East rival Rays, Porcello gave up six runs, which included three long balls. In the midst of all of this, Porcello took his fists to two TV monitors on the way into the clubhouse, leaving them just about as destroyed as the Red Sox’s chances of winning a fourth straight division title.
With two months of the regular season left to play, the Sox now sit ten games back of the division-leading Yankees. What is even more concerning is the ever-altering gap between the Sox and the Rays, which is currently two and a half games – the same amount of games that the team is off of the AL Wildcard places.
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Porcello’s talent gives the Sox rotation plenty of depth at the heart of it. In a season where a lot of Red Sox pitching has been underwhelming, to advance into October the likes of Porcello need to be changing the narrative of the 2019 Boston Red Sox.
While ace Chris Sale hasn’t been the elite-self that he’s been over recent years, and the loss of 2018 postseason star Nathan Eovaldi has left the bottom of the rotation pretty empty, the Sox have needed performances from their other bonafide starters.
David Price and Eduardo Rodriguez have both had stellar seasons, however with the lackluster performances coming out of the bullpen, it’s been a season where Boston has needed their starters more than ever, and it hasn’t gone perfectly.
There’s still time for the Sox to turn this season around. However, following yesterday’s trade deadline with absolutely no movement, there’s going to be a lot more pressure on the starting rotation to lock down games before the late innings for the remainder of the year.
There’s no doubt that Porcello still has effective stuff. His array of pitches can trouble any major leaguer. However, he needs to get that command back and it has to happen quickly, for the sake of this ballclub.
While the majority have written off a division title, there’s always a chance, but, realistically, the Sox need to look at that Wildcard race. And if you can make the one-game playoff, then you’re just one win away from being where everyone else is, and there’s no doubt that this side can make some noise if they get there.