It’s not the $217 million man. It’s not the sixth starter turned All Star. Nope. It’s the guy who had a 4.92 ERA last year, and was being called one of the worst financial investments in Red Sox history. Yeah, that guy.
Rick Porcello has undoubtedly been the most consistent, and arguably the best, starting pitcher that the Red Sox have had this season. All due respect to Steven Wright, but he’s sporting a 6.23 ERA over his last four starts. And before you jump down my throat for saying that Porcello could be the best, when Wright is in the conversation, what I mean by that is, you know what you’re going to get with Porcello. When you stack those two up against each other, Wright gives you the best chance to turn in a complete game shutout. But he also gives you the best chance to turn in a five earned run start, given the nature of the knuckleball and its unpredictability.
In 19 starts this season, Porcello has allowed more than three earned runs in just five starts, and four of those five starts were just four earned runs. Since he came off the disabled list last year on August 26, Porcello has made 27 starts, and has a 3.36 ERA with 157 strikeouts in 176.2 innings, while averaging 6.2 innings per start. That’s exactly what the Red Sox signed up for when they acquired him for Yoenis Cespedes, and signed him to a four-year extension worth $82.5 million.
On opposite ends of the spectrum, Brock Holt is flying under the radar in the 8 games since he came off the disabled list, hitting .370 with an 1.174 OPS, 4 doubles, 2 home runs, and 7 runs scored. He homered last night on Pet Brock night, obviously, and he’s already more than doubled his home run total of last season when he was an All Star. On the other end of the spectrum, David Ortiz continues to smash the cover off the ball, as he has done all season long.
Through 85 games this year, Ortiz is leading the league in slugging percentage (.670), OPS (1.091), doubles (34), OPS+ (181), and he has 23 homers and 75 RBI. Through 85 games last year, Ortiz was hitting .233 with a .758 OPS, 15 doubles, 16 home runs and 45 RBI. So, quick math here — compared to this time last year, Ortiz is hitting 94 points higher (.327), his OPS is 333 points higher, he has more than double the amount of doubles, seven more home runs, and 30 more RBI. Not bad.
Final score: Red Sox 4, Giants 0