Going into the weekend series against Tampa Bay, the Red Sox had Drew Pomeranz and David Price slated to start the first two games. Those were two games that they should have won. However, they did not. Pomeranz gave up three homers on Friday night’s game and only lasted five innings. Price allowed five runs while pitching 5 2/3 innings as well. The offense certainly had a tough time with runners in scoring position, but when your starters are not doing well, it’s tough to win ballgames. In comes Rick Porcello.
Rick Porcello, who has been the most consistent starter on the staff so far this year, received the nod on Sunday. The Red Sox needed a win on Sunday to avoid a three game sweep at home against the Tampa Bay Rays. Which, of course, is inexcusable.
Rick’s ERA was below 2.0 heading into Sunday’s game. The question was could he keep it going into an important game that this team needed to win badly. The answer is yes. Besides a bad pitch to Denard Span that wound up into the right field seats, Porcello was fantastic. He pitched 7 2/3 innings, walked no one, and struck out six while giving up only three runs. The Red Sox, who had struggled lately, losing five of their last eight games heading into Sunday needed a strong start. And get one they did. The offense was also able to come through and get some big runs across the board to help out Porcello, who loves pitching with run support.
After the game I saw a really interesting yet awesome stat by Porcello that @SoxNotes posted on Twitter:
The Red Sox have now won 25 consecutive games when giving Rick Porcello at least 3 runs of support. The last 36 times he has received 3+ runs of support, Porcello is 30-0 with 6 no-decisions.
— Red Sox Notes (@SoxNotes) April 29, 2018
Pretty good, I’d say.
Porcello has always been a guy where you really never know what you are going to get from him. And this has pretty much been a year to year thing. In 2015, his first year in Boston, he had a 4.92 ERA. In 2016, he won the Cy Young riding a 3.15 ERA. The following year? A 4.65 ERA. So going into this year, we were pretty much clueless about which Porcello was going to show up this season. But as the pattern has shown, he should be having a good year in 2018. And so far, he has been solid.
In a year where Chris Sale hasn’t been the same type of guy to start, and with Price still figuring it out, Porcello has really stepped up and done his job very well. That continued on Sunday, as he would help get the Sox their 20th win of the season. A big win as well, as they avoided getting swept by the Rays.