Rick Porcello was the rock in the Boston Red Sox’s starting rotation last season, but he’s yet to show Cy Young stuff in 2017.
The right-hander has struggled through the first two-plus months of the season, and things were no different Wednesday night against the New York Yankees.
Porcello labored through 6 1/3 innings, allowing six runs (five earned) on eight hits. The Red Sox ace did a good job of escaping damage on multiple occasions, but a pair of home runs helped New York pick up an 8-0 victory.
Through the first two innings, it looked as though Porcello was off to a stellar outing. He retired all six batters on only 16 pitches. This success was short-lived, though, as Didi Gregorius led off the third inning with a solo shot, which ignited the Yankees’ offense.
Pitch location has been a major area of issue for Porcello this season, but he didn’t think that was the reason for Gregorius’ solo shot.
“I tip my hat on that one,” Porcello said, as seen on NESN’s Red Sox postgame coverage. “I’ve made a lot of worse pitches than that one. I don’t consider that one a mistake.”
But it was a three-run blast off the bat of Chris Carter in the fourth inning that put the game out of reach. Unlike the pitch to Gregorius, Porcello admitted Carter took advantage of a mislocation.
“The one to Carter, I was trying to run a two-seamer in to get a ground ball and a double play,” Porcello said. “But it stayed up and he put a good swing on it.”
Many of Porcello’s outings this season have had a similar theme. He’ll do a great job of battling, but can’t seem to execute the put-away pitch. Porcello knows he needs to start coming up big in pressure moments, and it all starts with execution and building consistency.
“Execution of pitches,” Porcello said. “That’s what it always comes down to. When you make good pitches and guys get hits, you can live with that. But in key situations when you have to make big pitches, I haven’t been very consistent with that.”
Here are some other notes from Red Sox-Yankees.
— After a minor injury put it in doubt, Brian Johnson is scheduled to start for the Red Sox in Friday night’s game against the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park.
— Eduardo Rodriguez likely will rest for a few weeks, but the left-hander isn’t totally inactive. He threw long toss at 120 feet before Wednesday’s game.
— It’s been quite some time since the Yankees shut out the Red Sox by such a substantial margin.
— CC Sabathia was tremendous for the Yankees. The veteran left-hander pitched eight scoreless innings, only allowing five hits with five strikeouts. And it’s been quite some time since Sabathia made it into the late stages of the game.
— Deven Marrero’s throwing error in the third inning marked the 15th error committed by a Red Sox third baseman this season.
Thumbnail photo via Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports Images