The Red Sox supposed strength going into the season was supposed to be their starting pitching. With the addition of Chris Sale, the starting rotation was expected to place in the top ten in starters ERA.
Instead, they rank 14th in the majors with a 4.53 collective ERA. Imagine if Dombrowski did not trade for Chris Sale. That number would be a lot higher, and the season would be very different.
The reigning AL Cy Young Winner, Rick Porcello, has had a brutal start to the season, and instead of Red Sox fans feeling confident whenever Porcello takes the mound every five days, they are expecting him to be hit around and cough up five runs a start.
Saturday night’s brutal outing against the Houston Astros has just continued a season-long trend for Porcello, in which he allowed 10 hits, seven earned runs and was taken deep twice.
For the season, Porcello owns an ugly 3-9 record, accompanied with a 5.05 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP. Opponents are batting .316 against him and are making hard contact on 43.1% of their hits.
To compare (or contrast) with his 2016 numbers, opponents were batting a mere .230 and making hard contact on only 30% of their hits against Porcello.
Last year, Porcello posted a 0.93 HR/9. This year? 1.55. Opponents are posting an OPS of .864 against Porcello this year. These are all really, really bad numbers for a man who is being paid to be a top pitcher in the rotation.
The main pitch that has failed him is his two-seam, sinking fastball. He has too often left that pitch up in the strike zone, and since his fastball is only averaging just under 92 mph, hitters are able to get a good swing on it.
Ready for more bad statistics? Here is one from Boston Sports Info on Twitter.
After an ugly month of April to start the year, in which he posted a 4.75 ERA, he had a solid month of May, when he went 2-3 but had an ERA of 3.79. In June? He has gone 0-3 with a 7.40 ERA.
I thought Porcello’s start was going to be similar to last years, but then he would hit his stride and start pitching like the way he did last year when he won the AL Cy Young.
It has gone in the complete opposite direction, and it must start to really concern Red Sox fans and manager John Farrell.
Follow Malik Zorrok on Twitter @MalikStark_
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