After Rick Porcello gave up seven earned runs, including three home runs, in just two innings against the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday, there’s only one question to answer: What now?
The Boston Red Sox pitcher was shelled in his Canada Day appearance in Toronto, continuing a winless streak that officially entered its second month. Porcello hasn’t won a decision since May 16, and although other members of Boston’s rotation have had their ups and downs, none have been as unsuccessful as Porcello.
And Porcello is very aware of that.
“It’s just about executing pitches,” Porcello said on “Red Sox Final” after the game. “I’m not doing a good job of executing in pressure situations, and I think the most disappointing thing through all this, especially this one, is how well we’ve been playing as of late. I’m letting my teammates down.”
“I don’t feel lost. I know what’s going on. I’m just throwing a lot of fat pitches. Today was just pitches in the middle of the plate. That’s it.”
Porcello’s awareness actually could be a very good thing for the Red Sox, though, and some time out of the rotation could help turn the 26-year-old’s season around. It worked for Justin Masterson, who pitched five shoutout innings with five hits and six strikeouts against the Tampa Bay Rays in his return from the disabled list Sunday. It could work for Porcello, too.
Skipping Porcello’s spot in the rotation would be no problem at this point in the season. If anything, it’s ideal that he happened to implode Wednesday. Boston has off-days on July 6 and July 9 before the All-Star break begins on July 13. In theory, the Red Sox could manage to take Porcello out without needing a spot starter right away.
Porcello has produced a handful of quality starts this season, including his most recent one against Tampa Bay, though that resulted in a no-decision. His biggest problem is the long ball, and that’s an easier fix than other problems pitchers face.
Still, the Red Sox have to act with Porcello somehow before his issues can be resolve. A DL stint like Masterson’s seems to be the most obvious route, and after manager John Farrell acknowledged those convenient off-days to reporters, it looks as though only time will tell what happens next.
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images