It’s been a frustrating season for the Red Sox starters, to say the least.
With names like Chris Sale, David Price and Rick Porcello in Boston’s staff, it seemed as if the rotation would be a force to be reckon with. But that has not been the case.
Sale likely won’t return this year as he deals with elbow inflammation, Price just returned from the injured list after a wrist issue and Porcello has been streaky all season, with another shaky start coming in Tuesday’s 6-5 loss to the Minnesota Twins at Fenway Park.
Porcello was tagged for six earned runs on eight hits over four innings — a much different outcome than his June 17 start against Minnesota when he picked up the win after pitching seven shutout innings with eight strikeouts. After the game, the right-hander was pretty blunt about his outing.
“I sucked,” he said, as seen on NESN’s Red Sox postgame coverage. “It’s the bottom line. Six runs in four innings is not gonna get it done. We need to win every game right now. That’s the part that hurts the most is going out there and giving it up like that.”
So why was he struggling so much Tuesday?
“… Same old story, misfiring on pitches. Christian (Vasquez), (Nelson) Cruz and (Miguel) Sano, he called different pitches I shook off to get to those and I didn’t execute them,” Porcello said. “Not only did it result in a hit it resulted in home runs. It’s entirely on me. I don’t know what else to say besides I’m frustrated, embarrassed, that’s it. (I’m) working hard and putting everything into it but effort level doesn’t get you wins in the big leagues it’s executing pitches. … No excuses other than the fact that I’ve been terrible.”
Manager Alex Cora acknowledged his pitcher’s struggles, saying it “wasn’t his best one.”
“He struggled with command,” the skipper said on NESN’s Red Sox postgame coverage. “… It was a struggle. It wasn’t his best one. … We trust these guys. They guys have done it their whole careers. It just happens that this year they haven’t been able to be consistent at it. You see flashes and then something like this happens.”
Here are some other notes from Tuesday’s Red Sox-Twins game:
— The bullpen took over in the fifth and didn’t allow a hit through the five innings they pitched. The relievers combined for eight strikeouts, including Darwinzon Herandnez and Brandon Workman striking out the side.
“They did a good job,” Cora said. “… Just giving the offense a chance to come back but it’s hard to do it that way the whole time…We just got to try to contain the offense the first few innings so we can get the lead.”
Porcello echoed his managers sentiments: “I gotta say hats off to our bullpen. What they’ve been doing, not only the last couple weeks but the entire year, it’s really difficult and they’ve been absolutely incredible. I’m a big reason putting them in a tough spot. So I just want to say hats off to them because it’s been outstanding what they’ve been doing, picking up innings.”
— J.D. Martinez’s hit streak ended at nine games after the slugger went 0-for-4 in the loss.
— Rafael Devers continued his offensive tear at the plate, clubbing his 29th home run — a three-run bomb — of the season. He also upped his RBI total to 107.
Devers’ 22 home runs are the most by any Red Sox player at age 22 since Tony Conigliaro hit 32 in 1965, according to the team.
— Andrew Cashner continued to pitch well out of the bullpen, tossing a scoreless, hitless eighth inning.
His ERA as a reliever now is 0.82.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images