Red Sox righty Rick Porcello shines on Friday and stifles the Orioles
Boston Red Sox righty Rick Porcello was in the zone on Friday night as he shut down the Orioles and continued his very confusing 2019 campaign.
Rick Porcello is a former Cy Young Award winner and has been a foundation for the Red Sox as far as their starting rotation is concerned. This hasn’t been the type of season that I’m sure Rick was hoping for following 2018. It’s been a very up and down go of it for the right-hander and consistency has been a major issue.
Last year was one of storybook lore as not only did Boston dominate on their way to a World Series championship but Porcello would have a stellar 17-7 record and look like his Cy Young self. Fast forward to 2019 and things aren’t quite as sweet as they were a year ago. An 11-9 record with a 5.49 ERA is what we’ve seen from Rick this season and it’s been a rollercoaster campaign.
Though his season hasn’t been what we’ve wanted from him his last few outings have been showing signs of life. After last night Porcello has a 2-2 record in his last four starts which doesn’t sound the best but it’s what he’s done in those starts that matters.
In that span, Rick has given up 13 runs while striking out just 17, so at least that scale is tipped in the positive. He’s also only walked 6 batters in that time frame. If you want baserunners then you have to earn them.
Last night’s start was something that the Red Sox desperately needed as they’re in full must-win mode. Pretty Ricky took the mound and put the team on his back and he didn’t tremble once. Yeah, the Orioles may have had a few runners on the paths but Rick only gave up a single run no the night Trey Mancini double.
In 6IP last night, he would finish the night with a slash line of 4H/2BB/2K, maybe those aren’t Chris Sale numbers but he did what he needed to do and got the “W” for the Red Sox. Not every start needs to be an earth-shaking outing, all that matters is giving your team the opportunity to win. Porcello spoke after the game and was happy with the start and how he’s pitched lately and rightfully so.
"“The lines in two of the last three are pretty good but it has been four or five starts where I’ve felt like myself and felt pretty good throwing the ball,” Porcello said. “The results are the part you need to have. As far as what we’ve been working on and what I’m capable of doing, it’s coming along nicely. It’s unfortunate it’s happening this late in the season but I feel good.”"
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These past four starts are the perfect sample size of not only this season for Rick but really his entire career. Porcello is the definition of a rollercoaster pitcher, it seems not only from start to start but year to year he can be up or down. The big factor in this season for Porcello is that he’s just weeks away from becoming a free agent. He needs to be lights-out if he wants another solid contract when he hits the market this winter.
In a bit of a personal note, I actually had tickets for last night’s game but this season has broken me to the point that I just couldn’t bring myself to see a Porcello start live. I couldn’t be more thrilled that he went out there and made me look like an idiot for not being in the park. He had everything working and had the Orioles guessing with each at-bat.
It feels like Rick is finally getting his swagger back and is going out there like the quality pitcher that he is. With six weeks left in the regular season, every game feels like it’s a must-win. Friday night was a hell of a start for Porcello and he gave Boston the bump they needed. If the Red Sox can keep getting quality starts from Rick Porcello then the win column should continue to grow.