Through the first five games of the 2019 MLB season, the Boston Red Sox have a starting pitcher problem, but Pedro Martinez says “relax.”
The Boston Red Sox haven’t started defending their World Series championship in the greatest of ways.
Following a 7-0 shutout loss to the Oakland A’s Monday night, the Red Sox are a dismal 1-4 on the season. Furthermore, their starting pitching has been as close to disastrous as they can possibly get.
Entering Monday night’s game, the starters have combined for a whopping 13.20 ERA. Despite the 7-0 loss, David Price actually gave the team a somewhat decent start considering the performance of Chris Sale, Nathan Eovaldi, Eduardo Rodriguez and Rick Porcello ahead of him.
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Still, Price suffered from something the other’s suffered from and that is the home run ball. As a collective, the Boston Red Sox starters have given up 11 home runs. The strikeouts have been there, but what has been plaguing the starting pitching?
Well, the light workload in Spring Training may be a reason. When asked about any regrets about the lack of inning pitched for his starters, Red Sox manager Alex Cora defended the team’s approach as the same approach worked out for the team last season.
"“I didn’t rethink about it last year, you saw what happened. It was the same plan,” Cora said following Sunday’s loss, as transcribed by ESPN. “Whoever’s doubting us [after] what we did last year. I mean this year? Check what happened last year.”"
One thing Cora has to understand as a newer manager is that what worked last year may not work this year, especially with teams more aggressive against Red Sox pitching. All of the starters have the stuff to be effective and successful, they just need to find their mental toughness on the mound. A lack of concentration and mechanics is much of what is leading to the homer ball.
Pedro weighs in
Like Alex Cora, the former Red Sox pitcher feels it’s just the beginning and Sale, Eovaldi, Rodriguez, Porcello and Price will come around. They have too much talent and experience not to, but if Chris Sale throws another clunker Tuesday night against the A’s, it may be time to examine what exactly is going on with the starting pitching.
But, for now, we can take Pedro’s wise words and just “relax.”
Perhaps another trip through the rotation headlined by solid pitching will aid fans relaxing, but if the home run ball continues and the team continues to lose, panic may set in as this Boston Red Sox team can’t afford to fall too far behind the New York Yankees or whoever holds control of the AL East too much.
In other words, it’s time for Chris Sale and Nathan Eovaldi to earn their money. Time for Eduardo Rodriguez to show he is a reliable starting pitcher. Time for Rick Porcello to earn a new contract and time for David Price to lock in on the mound.
If they don’t find consistency on the mound soon, there won’t be any repeat of a World Series championship.