The Red Sox went through an up-and-down first half of the 2017 season. Through it all, they went into the All-Star Break in first place in the AL East. Unfortunately, I was going to write a blog about the biggest pleasant surprise on this team, but the biggest Red Sox disappointment is waaaaaaay easier to figure out.
Baseball pundits outside of Boston were choking on their peanuts and cracker jacks last November with the AL Cy Young announcement. Even though Justin Verlander had more first place votes, Rick Porcello took home the award. Porcello led the league with 22 wins but Kate Upton was the star of the night with her vexed tweets. With Porcello’s 2017 season to date, that seems like a long, long time ago.
Obviously, we didn’t expect Porcello to duplicate his 2016 season. He has never had a season like that in his career, it was clearly an anomaly. Most of us, however, expected better than this. Those who thought he had figured it out and was going to be a viable top-line pitcher were very wrong. He’s put together some good starts recently but the numbers can not be ignored.
Porcello’s Numbers Have Been Nothing But Disappointing
After leading the league in wins last year, Porcello has kept his trend of staying among the league leaders. Instead of wins, though, he leads the AL in losses (11), hits allowed (147) and batters faced (525). Nearly every time out, he’ll struggle out of the gate. That wasn’t uncommon last year, but instead of one or two runs allowed, it’s now three or four. Without the most run support in the league, that has translated to a 4-11 record.
Porcello’s biggest problem has been a glaring lack of control. Like we’ve seen from David Price this year, Porcello’s location has been dreadful. With a sinker that doesn’t sink, he’s been a hopeless, scared puppy on the mound. That explains why his K-BB ratio is the second best of his career but still leads the league in hits allowed. His WHIP has gone down to 1.43, still too high for the defending Cy Young winner.
Because of his recent uptrend, Porcello has gone from “sucked” to just “disappointment.” Fortunately for him, however, the Red Sox are still in first. With their success, the heat hasn’t really come down on Porcello. I’ve got news for you Pretty Ricky, your awful numbers aren’t sneaking past me. You’re the biggest Red Sox disappointment of the first half of 2017. So he’s got that going for him, which is nice.
Honorable mention: Hanley Ramirez. But you’ve already read my story on that and look what’s happened since.