Are people still talking about Shohei Ohtani being an American League Rookie of the Year candidate? Why? Because he can hit and pitch? Rick Porcello threw five two-hit innings against the first place Braves on Tuesday night, and then extended his hitting streak. What hitting streak? The hitting streak where he’s gotten a hit in literally every single game that he’s seen his name on the lineup card in 2018. That hitting streak. Amongst the 680 players with at least seven plate appearances this year, Porcello’s 1.143 OPS is second in the majors. Nobody’s talking about that, though. That changes now.
Outside of Rip City Ricky doing his thing at the dish yet again, Steve Pearce did that thing where he takes over the game with his bat. Pearce went 3-for-4 with a walk and 3 RBI. Get this — the Red Sox left TWELVE MEN on base in this one, and still walked away with the victory. It looks worse than it really was, if we’re being honest. Eduardo Nunez stranded eight runners single handedly, which is pretty damn impressive when you think about it.
Sandy Leon left the bases loaded just about every single time, but I don’t want to hear any Sandy Leon slander on this website. The catching position is the only position that I don’t care what the offensive output is, as long as you’re outstanding defensively, and he is. Still, I wouldn’t hate it if he came through with a hit in one of those situations once in a while. For the record, I’m also not going to complain if Blake Swihart sees an increase in playing time.
The Red Sox loaded the bases in three straight innings, got nothing in the fourth, broke through for three runs in the fifth, and added two more the very next inning. You can only load the bases so many times against this lineup before they make you pay for it. But perhaps the most impressive feat of the night was the four scoreless innings by the Red Sox bullpen. After Porcello exited the game, you got a scoreless inning each from Steven Wright, Joe Kelly, Ryan Brasier, and Heath Hembree. As a result, I had to update my list.
The rules of the list are that there are no rules. It’s all feel, baby. There’s no statistical formula that equates to trust. You can be on the list for three months, and off the list after one awful outing. You can be off the list one day and back on the next day. Kelly is getting really close to getting back on the list, as is Matt Barnes. We’ll just have to see how it plays out, but entering play on Wednesday, I only trust two Red Sox relievers. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below in a rational manner, just as the Barstool comment section is known for.
The Red Sox go for the sweep on Wednesday with Hector Velazquez on the mound against Mike Foltynewicz. I’ll be honest — I don’t like the Red Sox chances. First and foremost, Foltynewicz is filthy. He’s got a sub-three ERA this year with 174 strikeouts in 151 innings. That, and Alex Cora already said that the lineup is going to be dog shit. It happens. With the Red Sox already winning the series, you’ve gotta get guys rest when you can. I’m fine with it. Who knows, maybe the B-Team lineup will scrap out a win. Probably not, but maybe.
Final score: Red Sox 5, Braves 1