Final Showdown At The Rogers Centre

After losing the last three games to the Yankees, the Red Sox head north to face the Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre. The past few days have been strange for the Red Sox, as Dave Dombrowski was fired on Sunday night. Although no official press conference was given, the Red Sox did release a statement. Alex Cora and the players were shocked by the news, and many are wondering how this will affect the offseason.

First though, the Red Sox start a three game series in Toronto. This will be their final timerogers centre facing the Blue Jays in 2019. With two weeks left of the season, the Red Sox’s playoff hopes are gone, as they are eight games back of the Wild Card spot.

Last Series At The Rogers Centre in 2019

The Red Sox will start off by having Nathan Eovaldi go up against TJ Zeuch. Eovaldi will be making his first start at the Rogers Centre this season, and his second against the Blue Jays. Last time out for him, he went five innings, giving up one run off one hit. Eovaldi also had four walks and three strikeouts in that game against the Twins. The Red Sox will face rookie TJ Zeuch. The 24 year old is just the latest rookie to join the Blue Jays. He last pitched against the Atlanta Braves, going four innings and striking out four batters.

Game two will have Jhoulys Chacin against Trent Thornton. Last time out for Chacin was against the Yankees. He started the game on Friday night, and came in for relief on Sunday. In those two games, he pitched three total innings, only allowing one walk, and striking out four. Chacin is looking to get his first Red Sox win at the Rogers Centre on Wednesday night. Last time the Red Sox faced Thornton was on July 15th. Thornton took the loss in the game, going 1.1 innings, allowing five runs off of five hits.

The Red Sox have yet to name a starter for the final game at the Rogers Centre. The Blue Jays will be sending former Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz to the mound. Buchholz has yet to face the Red Sox this season. Last time out for him was against the Rays. He took the loss, going six innings, allowing seven hits and three earned runs. Buchholz’s season has limited him to eight games. He is 1-4 with a 5.31 ERA.

What’s Next For Boston in 2019

After their trip to the Rogers Centre, the Red Sox head to Philadelphia for a two game series against the Phillies. Like the Red Sox, the Phillies are eyeing the final Wild Card spot. They are 74-69, and fifteen games back of the Atlanta Braves in the NL East. Prior to hosting the Red Sox, they will host the Atlanta Braves.

The Red Sox have two more homestands left in 2019. The first is against the San Francisco Giants next week, and then the last one against the Baltimore Orioles at the end of September. Their final road trip begins on September 20th, when they head to Tampa Bay, and then to Arlington, Texas.

Porcello Wins His 20th Game

Friday night proved to be a great culmination for Rick Porcello’s season. Going into 2016, Porcello was one of the major question marks for the Red Sox. The answer to the question has been a season of dominance for him. That dominance has now produced a 20-win season.

Porcello shut down one of the league’s best offenses Friday night, limiting the Blue Jays toPorcello two runs and six hits in seven innings. He also struck out seven while only surrounding one walk. Backing him up, the Red Sox offense slugged their way to a dominant 13-3 win at the Rogers Centre.

The win Friday makes Porcello the first Red Sock to have a 20-win season since Josh Beckett in 2007. If Porcello can offer the same postseason dominance Beckett had in ’07, it could be the same result for the Sox; a World Championship. With the number 20 under the “win” column, Porcello should be the frontrunner for the AL Cy Young Award.

Porcello’s Cy Young Résumé

Porcello’s year has been great to say the least. While not an All-Star, he was the first pitcher in the majors this year to reach those 20 wins, including being 13-0 at home. He also adds an ERA of 3.21 and leads the majors in strikeouts-walk ratio. You can make an argument for Chris Sale or even Toronto’s J.A. Happ, but it is really tough to argue against Boston’s bona fide ace.

More importantly than the 20th win for Porcello, this was a big game for the Red Sox. In such a crucial series, this was a statement win for them. They knocked out Toronto’s #2 starter in Marco Estrada after just 2 and 2/3 innings. While squandering some chances early, the Red Sox blew the game open with a six-run seventh inning to take it from a 5-2 game to an 11-2 game. With this win, the Red Sox can not relinquish first place by the time they leave Toronto on Sunday.

With each milestone a Red Sock gets, the fate of the team still remains the key focus. Whether it is a new record for David Ortiz, Mookie Betts’ MVP-caliber season, or Rick Porcello’s Cy Young campaign, it is all about the playoff picture at this point. Given what has happened the last two years, it is refreshing that the playoffs are what the Red Sox are focusing on. However, Friday night was for Rick Porcello, who put an exclamation point on a terrific season so far.