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.

Will Red Sox Pitching Go Deep This Year?

The excitement of having David Price, Rick Porcello, and Chris Sale in the rotation has everyone in Boston talking. Will Red Sox pitching go deep this season? It’s hard to say no. The three have a combined 24 years of experience and a whopping 3,837 K’s. It doesn’t hurt to have several All-Star appearances and a few Cy Young Awards between them either. Most teams in baseball today are thankful enough to have two solid starters on their rotation. But with such a dominant pitching staff the Red Sox are sure to give the American League a run for its money.

There’s three reasons to believe that Price, Porcello, and Sale will carry the team thisRed Sox Pitching Go Deep season. After a solid 2016, Price is learning from last year’s mistakes to find a new rhythm. He still posted a 17-9 record with 228 strikeouts last season so he can only go up from there. Then there’s Rick Porcello who won the 2016 Cy Young Award while posting a 22-4 record and 189 K’s. His performance certainly wasn’t something people expected but it was an added bonus. Then there’s Chris Sale who the Red Sox acquired last year. Sale posted a 2.73 ERA with 274 K’s in 2015 with an additional 233 K’s and six complete games last season. One of the issues Sale had with the White Sox was a lack of run support. But with a solid offense in development for 2017 Sale is sure to have all the run support he’ll need.

We’ll See Red Sox Pitching Go Deep, But Will Offensive Back Them Up?

A pitching staff is only as good as the run support behind it. Filling the void David Ortiz leaves after retiring isn’t an easy task. But Hanley Ramirez proved he can come through in clutch situations like Big Papi did. Then there’s Andrew Benintendi who’s proven he’s the real deal. Despite his limited playing time, Benintendi didn’t let many down with his hitting. If he can keep that momentum going into the 2017 season he’ll run away with the Rookie of the Year award. There’s also Pablo Sandoval who literally worked his butt off to get in shape. Boston did not have a solid 3rd baseman last season and having Panda back is an added bonus, despite what others might think.

All in all, the Red Sox are shaping up to have a solid season. Between its pitchers, young hitters, and experienced players who’ve been around for a while, it isn’t out of the realm of possibility to see the Red Sox bring a second championship to Boston this year.

Red Sox Winning Streak Sets Them Apart

As of September 22nd, the Boston Red Sox have won seven games in a row. This accomplishment is noteworthy for a team that struggled through the summer. After sweeping the Yankees, the Red Sox traveled to Baltimore where they could very well sweep the Orioles. The Red Sox winning streak is not only good for the team, but it shows other teams that they are a team worthy of a World Series appearance.

Before the season started, many in the Red Sox Nation questioned how strong the team would beRed Sox Winning Streak. Last place finishes two years in a row gave fans little hope this year would be different. But players like Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mookie Betts solidified their hitting and fielding skills. Now, Bradley Jr. might finally clinch the Gold Glove Award that eluded him in 2014. Meanwhile, Betts is in the running for an MVP award.

Two unlikely heroes in the pitching rotation also emerged this season. Steven Wright and Rick Porcello came out of nowhere to prove their worth. Porcello became the MLB’s first 20-game winner this season. As for Wright, while on the disabled list, he may return to the team within days, giving opposing teams more to groan about when they face the Sox. These two pitchers, combined with David Price and the rest of the staff, are showing more potential than ever, especially with Clay Buchholz and Eduardo Rodriguez finally solidifying their game.

Red Sox Winning Streak Signifies World Series Potential

It’s all but certain that the Red Sox are going to the playoffs. Yes, perhaps that’s bit of a bold statement to make at this point, but there’s reason to believe it. Throughout the entire season, other baseball writers and me have commented on the Red Sox inconsistency. Hitting dominated, but pitching didn’t produce. Then pitching dominated for a while, but hitting couldn’t provide enough run support. Fans held their breath going into August as fans and writers alike speculated where the Red Sox would land in the standings. Now that they are playing better than ever, it is becoming safer to assume that Boston will see the Red Sox in the playoffs.

The winning streak won’t last forever, but it doesn’t have to. All the Red Sox have to do now is win the last game of the season, and top it off with another parade through downtown Boston.