3 Red Sox players the fans have already lost their patience with
3) Red Sox fans have already lost their patience with Tanner Houck as a starter
I'm a Tanner Houck believer, but I'm starting to only be a believer in him as a reliever. I was fully on board with giving him a shot as a full-time starter this season, but it just isn't working out.
His 5.48 ERA is actually among the better ERA's for Red Sox starters which is an issue in itself, but we've seen similar patters with this right-hander.
To start games, Houck has been terrific. He's allowed two first-inning runs in his eight starts, and no runs in the second and third. He has a 0.75 ERA through innings 1-3. When facing a hitter for the first time in a game, those hitters are slashing .111/.197/.127 with one extra-base hit (a double) in 71 plate appearances. Houck's issue is he completely melts down as games progress.
In innings 4-6, he has a 10.70 ERA, allowing 21 runs in 17.2 innings pitched. When facing hitters for a second time, he's allowed them to slash .375/.414/.531 against him.
I personally can't explain this drastic change. What I can say is the Houck experiment as a starter, at least in my eyes, is reaching a breaking point. It's hard when the entire rotation is underwhelming and there aren't many great depth options, but it's just so clear the way Houck should be utilized. From innings 1-3 it's working. When you push him more than that it just isn't.
You can't keep a guy in the rotation who can only be effective for three innings. The only possible way to do that is to use an opener in front of him.