When David Price signed a 7-year $217 million dollar deal last December, many assumed he’d fill the role as the Red Sox ace. For that kind of money, a pitcher should do more than just win a few games. Despite Price’s strong performance, all eyes are now on Rick Porcello. As Porcello emerges as the Red Sox unlikely ace, many in Boston are beginning to wonder if he can win the AL Cy Young Award, and carry the team to a World Series.
Since starting his career in 2009, Porcello has held his own in the American League (for the most part). Despite an ERA that often hovered above 4, he led the American League in shutouts in 2014 with three. Porcello is a strong pitcher, but before this season did not have many opportunities to prove himself. It didn’t help that he went 9-15 his first year in Boston. It is, however, hard to blame Porcello’s dismal 2015 season on him alone. 2015 was one of the Red Sox worst seasons in recent memory. Porcello and the rest of the pitching staff didn’t have strong run support. Thankfully, 2016 is proving to be a much different year for the better.
As Porcello Emerges, So Does Rest Of The Team
One of the reasons why Porcello is finally getting the recognition he deserves is because of run support. Four of the team’s hitters have 20+ home runs and five of them have a batting average over .300. On top of that, other pitchers on the rotation are showing their strong stuff, too. Steven Wright is surprising everyone with a 13-6 record. While Price may be taking a back seat to Porcello, he’s holding steady with a 15-8 record including 201 strikeouts.
It’s all but certain that the Red Sox will make the post season. If they can keep it together, they’ll meet either Toronto, Cleveland, or Texas in the playoffs. Those are not easy teams to beat. After the 13-3 shellacking the Sox gave the Blue Jays on September 9th, however, which marked Porcello’s 20th win, it might not be so hard.
If Porcello can stay focused, get the run support he needs, and keep his hat out of the washing machine, I won’t be surprised if he gets a Cy Young Award after taking the Red Sox to the World Series.