The Biggest Red Sox Disappointment in the First Half

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 biggest Red Sox disappointmentNovember 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.

Red Sox Poised for a Huge Yankees Series

Alas, they have come. The two most agonizing days of the baseball season are upon us. While we await baseball after the All-Star break, the Red Sox will start their second half with a bang. Yes, it’s a Yankees series that waits in the wings, and it’s a crucial one.

Mookie Betts, Chris Sale and Craig Kimbrel can enjoy their final mimosas iYankees seriesn Miami, but Friday marks their return. The trip will take them home to Boston and the business is to prove they really are the best team in the AL East. After losing a series in Tampa, four games in three days against the Yankees is going to be a great measuring stick for this team.

Personally, I think the Yankees have seen their best days already in 2017. They scuffled mightily in June going 13-15 and rode that wave into a 2-6 July. The lack of pitching has caught up to them and the holes are beginning to sink New York’s ship. The Yankees have drowned in fortune this year (Aaron Judge, for one) and are still only tied for second place with the upstart Rays.

Even though they are in something of a rebuild, albeit ahead of schedule, don’t be surprised if the Yankees make waves on the trade deadline. A starter like Sonny Gray or Gerrit Cole could very well be in pinstripes come August 1st. That, however, shouldn’t carry them over the Red Sox if Boston can handle their business like they should this month. Again, it starts with this series.

Red Sox-Yankees Series Will Start With Pitching

A red hot Drew Pomeranz will get the start Friday. Even though there’s no excuse for Chris Sale not to start and get off on the right foot, it will be Pomeranz. Although he can be frustrating to watch, Pomeranz seems to have returned to his All-Star form he had in 2016. Nonetheless, Sale will go Saturday and if the Yankees have a daddy, he wears #41 for the Red Sox. He OWNS them.

Furthermore, the Red Sox will need to get the offense back and hitting consistently. They mustered just four runs in their three losses in Tampa. They looked like a completely different team than the one we saw in Toronto the week before. It’s been all or nothing for the Red Sox offense this year. As a result ,the starter’s with the lowest ERA in the league is in danger of losing first place. It has been rare for the Red Sox to get the offense and pitching going at the same time the last two years. Obviously, they’ll need to correct that sooner rather than later to extend their lead.

So get ready to dive back head first into baseball Friday night. After that, you won’t be able to rid the sport until October so just make it to Friday people. If both these teams can continue to stay at each other’s necks this year, we could have what we’ve been waiting years for. We could have a rivalry again.