Boston Red Sox: Rick Porcello picked the right time to shine

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 20: Rick Porcello
BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 20: Rick Porcello /

Following a less than stellar first half of the season, Boston Red Sox righty Rick Porcello has found his stride at just the right time.

Reigning American League Cy Young-winner Rick Porcello has found a way to turn a double-digit loss season into one in which he has become a major contributor for the Boston Red Sox.

Porcello’s strong second-half resurgence continued Sunday afternoon against the New York Yankees.  In the rubber game of the three-game series, the right-handed pitcher hurled six solid innings.  He allowed just one run, three hits and fanned four in the team’s 5-1 victory over the Bronx Bombers.

More importantly, Porcello was able to help his team bounce back following a loss by ace Chris Sale.  His solid pitching the last few outings have been key with the injury to David Price and will be extra important going down the stretch if Price is unable to go the remainder of the season.

Finding a way to get it done

BOSTON, MA – AUGUST 15: Rick Porcello
BOSTON, MA – AUGUST 15: Rick Porcello /

So, what has contributed to Porcello’s turnaround?

Combined run support, assisting pitching coach Brian Bannister attributes the Red Sox pitcher’s good fortune on his ability to re-define his approach on the mound.

"“I think he was bound to be a little more fortunate on balls in play in the second half,” Bannister said, via  “The first half didn’t go his way.  I think he’s continued to evolve as a pitcher and kid of re-define himself in the second half.  He’s changed his mix up a little bit.  He’s attacking different areas of the strike zone more often, and I just think he’s put himself in a good position to have a really strong second half.”"

Related Story: Rick Porcello delivers immaculate performance in Tampa

Following a 4-10 start this season, Rick Porcello has gone 4-4 with a 3.47 ERA.  He has kept his team in games, which is evident with the 164 2/3 innings he has pitching.  That ranks him fourth in the MLB amongst starting pitchers.

The iron man

More from Chowder and Champions

His ability to go deep into games has also contributed to his second-half success.  With an offense that has been as clutch as the Red Sox, keeping the team in striking distance has been really important.  And when he has had the opportunity to pitch with a lead, he has become the pitcher Red Sox fans became accustomed to in 2016.

On Sunday, the Red Sox offense staked Porcello to a 2-0 lead.  The small margin didn’t leave much room for error.  But the way that the team pushed the lead to 3-1 in the sixth and added insurance runs in the eighth earned praise from Porcello.

In winning his fourth consecutive outing, he also gave himself a little praise.

"“A mix of different pitches, nothing, in particular, was really on fire,” Porcello said following the game, via  “The walks were a little concerning, but we were able to pitch out of it and I can’t say enough about the way our offense battled.”"

Next: Boston Red Sox: Chris Sale reaches strikeout milestone in loss to Yankees

Fans are happy to see the way Rick Porcello has battled back from a potential 20-loss season to contribute to a Boston Red sox team that is on a roll going down the stretch.

He has picked the right time to shine.