This season we have seen a slight improvement in our starting five-man pitching rotation. Despite injuries, our rotation has seemed to hold it together. Recently, they REALLY seem to be holding it together. Today, let’s focus on Chris Sale, Drew Pomeranz, and Rick Porcello.
The addition of Chris Sale in the off-season was probably the best thing to ever happen, like an early Christmas gift to all of Boston. “The Red Sox have Chris Sale,” became the most popular statement in the off-season. He hasn’t disappointed either, absolutely dominant since coming to Boston. Currently, he stands 14-5 with a 2.62 ERA and 250 strikeouts. He is tied for second in the league with wins, fourth in ERA, and first in strikeouts. He is a possible Cy Young and MVP candidate this season. The last pitcher to win both awards in the same season was Clayton Kershaw in 2014.
Adding to a terrific season, Sale started in back-to-back All Star games, and the first pitcher ever to start in back-to-back All Star games representing different teams. Sale was the 16th pitcher in MLB history to start an All-Star game and was the first to do so since Randy Johnson in 2000-2001.
To add onto Sale’s incredible season, here are some of his stats and his rankings amongst the league.
- 1st in Strikeouts (250)
- 1st in Win/ Loss % (0.737)
- 1st in Strikeouts per 9 IP (12.833)
- 2nd in Home Runs per 9 IP (0.77)
- 2nd in Wins (14)
- 3rd in Innings Pitched (175.1)
- 4th in ERA (2.62)
- 4th in Pitchers WAR (5.7)
- 7th in WHIP (0.890)
If I came into this season saying Drew Pomeranz has potential to be Cy Young, you’d probably laugh at me. But, I’d laugh back because it’s actually pretty true. This season, Pomeranz is 13-4 with a 3.18 ERA. At home, he has a 7-2 record. Never in his career has he had 13 wins. His closest season was in 2016 when he had a total of 11 wins when he played a split season with the San Diego Padres and the Red Sox. Only once in his career did he have an ERA under 3.18 (2014 he posted a 2.35 ERA) but he pitched in less games and half the amount of innings.
In July and August combined, Pomeranz is 6-0 with a 2.19 ERA and 56 strikeouts in 58 innings. In the month of August alone, he has only allowed four runs in 21.2 innings of work. His strikeouts per 9 innings have increased from June, going from 8.3 to now 10.8.
His worst outings are usually recorded in his first inning. In just the first inning, Pomeranz has a 5.76 ERA and has allowed six home runs in just 25 innings. His best innings are usually the 2nd, 3rd and 6th.
- 3rd in Wins (13)
- 5th in Win/ Loss % (0.765)
- 7th in Adjusted ERA (144)
- 10th in ERA (3.18)
Rick Porcello is having an off year, commonly known as the Cy Young hangover. Porcello is 8-14 this season with a 4.48 ERA. His 14 losses are the most in his career since his 2015 season with the Red Sox where he went 9-15. He is tied in 3rd in the league with home runs allowed (29), 2nd in hits allowed (189), 1st in losses (14), and 7th in earned runs (82). Despite putting up terrible numbers, let’s look at his positives.
- 2nd in Games Started (26)
- 2nd in Complete Games (3)
- 6th in Innings Pitched (164.2)
- 17th in Strikeouts (149)
In the month of August, Porcello is however turning everything around. He is 4-0 in his past four starts and has an opposing batting average of .242. Opposing batting average from the previous 22 games of the season was .291 and he was 4-14 during that span (April 3-July 28). The first half of the season, Porcello was posting a 4-11 record with a 4.75 ERA. The second half of the season, he has improved tremendously with a 4-3 record and posted a 3.77 ERA in 7 games. Hopefully something clicked in his brain and he continues with what he is doing.
In conclusion, our pitching staff is doing better in the second half of the season. Doug Fister is 2-2 in his past four outings including a one-hit complete game the other night against the red hot Cleveland Indians. Eduardo Rodriguez seems to be finally figuring out what he’s been doing wrong despite going 0-0 in his last four outings. Hopefully this consistency in pitching “Sales” us into the postseason and collects some wins and a ring.