Although Rick Porcello looked like his old self Saturday, he didn’t win the game to go along with it.
The Boston Red Sox right-hander tossed a complete game against the Tampa Bay Rays, allowing one run on six hits while striking out seven in Boston’s 1-0 loss at Tropicana Field.
Porcello was locked in as he used all four of his pitches effectively to stifle the Rays’ offense. He featured devastating sink to his fastball, slick bite to his breaking stuff, good location on his cutter and was able to mix in his changeup during what was his most effective outing of the season.
The reigning American League Cy Young Award winner relied on his fastball to great success. Porcello threw 75 percent strikes with his heater, including 10 swing-and-misses from the Tampa Bay hitters on his primary pitch. He tied up up left-handed hitters with his fastball and used the location and movement to stay away from hard contact all game.
While Porcello became the third reigning Cy Young winner to lose his 11th game of the year before the Major League Baseball All-Star break, joining Gaylord Perry and Mike McCormick, the right-hander is encouraged by his past few starts.
“I think my last three or four (starts) I’ve felt much better,” Porcello said, as seen on NESN’s Red Sox postgame coverage. “Just overall aggressiveness, the amount of hits and hard hit balls has definitely decreased so that’s a positive for sure. Some of it’s mechanical, some of it’s just being aggressive, picking up the tempo doing some different things, it’s not one thing in particular, but just getting into the flow of the game and trying to limit that big inning, that’s what’s most important.”
As Porcello turns the page to the second half of the season, he feels like he’s in a good place in every aspect of his game.
“I feel great,” Porcello said. “Physically my body feels good, mentally I’m ready to go out there and have a productive second half for our ballclub.”
Here are more notes from Red Sox vs. Rays.
— The Red Sox had the bases loaded with two outs in the ninth inning Saturday against right-hander Alex Colome. While manager John Farrell had the option of using Jackie Bradley Jr. as a pinch hitter, he elected to stick with Chris Young, who popped out to end the game. Farrell said he chose to stick with Young due to the reverse splits against Colome.
“You know, right-handers are hitting .300 against Colome on the year,” Farrell said, as seen on NESN’s Red Sox postgame coverage. “Felt like we had the right guys in the order where we were. Chris has been so good with bases-loaded situations where he’s remained patient, he’s laid off some borderline pitches. Like I said, I thought we had the right guys at the plate. ”
— Boston announced its starting rotation coming out of the All-Star break. Drew Pomeranz will start the first game out of the break against the New York Yankees and will be followed by Chris Sale, Porcello and David Price in the Sunday doubleheader. Eduardo Rodriguez will return July 17 against the Toronto Blue Jays and will be followed by Doug Fister and Pomeranz.
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images