Following Monday night’s 6-5 loss to the Oakland A’s at Fenway Park, we now know that Boston Red Sox righty Rick Porcello won’t go undefeated in 2018.
Well, all good things come to an end at some point. In a streak ridden game like baseball, Boston Red Sox fans knew Rick Porcello would have a bad game eventually, but wasn’t expecting it to come off the bats of the Oakland Athletics.
But, that’s how the ball rolls in baseball and following a season in which he challenged a 20-loss season, we’ll take Pocello’s first loss coming in the middle of May.
Entering the game with a 5-0 record, including a no-decision in his last outing against the New York Yankees, Porcello took the mound going against the no-hit wonder Sean Manaea.
While the Boston Red Sox offense was able to figure out the A’s young pitcher, Porcello was hit hard and couldn’t do enough to help out his offense. Allowing three home runs, it was obvious Monday night wasn’t going to be Porcello’s night, even with his offense doing their part.
"“Our offense did a great job. They kept battling back,” Porcello said following the game. “Every time we battled back and got within one or tied it up, myself or whoever else was pitching gave it back up. So we have to do a better job as a pitching staff. The offense did a great job, especially against tough pitching. They battled [Manaea] hard and got him out after six, and we had a chance because of the work that they did.”"
Had this been April, the five runs scored by the Red Sox lineup would’ve been more than enough for Rick Porcello. But, the last two starts have brought the 2016 Cy Young Award-winner back down to earth a little.
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With an ERA of 4.78 over his last five starts, Porcello’s claim to success in 2018 will be how he bounces back and re-gain the control he had on the mound during his first four starts when he dominated opposing lineups with a 1.40 ERA.
Part of what he has to fix is the home run ball that has once again become his Achilles heel.
According to Red Sox manager Alex Cora, Monday night’s outing was more about his inability to put hitters away.
"“He wasn’t able to put hitters away – hanging changeup to (Matt) Joyce (home run in the third), front-door cutter to (Jonathan) Lecroy (two-run double, fourth) and then (Matt) Olson (home run in the sixth),” Cora said, as transcribed by The Boston Herald. “He made some good pitches down in the zone, and left a fastball up and away, and he put a good swing on it. That was the story of the game.”"
In all, Rick Porcello tipped his hat to the A’s for making good swings, but he knows he has to rebound from the loss to make sure how he has pitched particularly in his last two outings don’t turn into the new trend of the 2018 season.
In other words, he just has to go out and execute on his pitches.