It’s funny how it works sometimes. After an 8-1 roadtrip everyone including myself was ready to get the duck boats. Now after getting run out of Fenway last night by the Astros, and both Sale and Pomeranz looking like garbage in their last outings, we could be witnessing the setup for another sweep.
The Red Sox offense has been good this year, not great but good enough. They currently rank 6th in the A.L in runs scored, but the offense has been inconsistent at best. While it’s been better than some people have given them credit for, they haven’t been world beaters.
Everyone was aware that if this team was going to win it was going to be because of their pitching. For the majority of the year, that has been the case. The Red Sox have a 3.73 ERA as a team which ranks 4th in the majors, and second in the A.L only behind Cleveland. But the pitching has gone south as of late.
Pomeranz looked like a shell of himself in his last start throwing 89 mph fastballs, and lasting only two innings despite being the teams most consistent starter this year. Quickly on Pomeranz: I mentioned the velocity for a reason Pomeranz has thrown 167.2 innings this year, the second highest of his career and could very easily set a new career high. So to see him fade down the strech is a major red flag. His arm isn’t use to this workload and that could be the reason for the lack of velocity on his fastball and the break on his curveball.
Sale has the same issue as Pomeranz, the innings might be catching up to him. He has been a workhorse for the Red Sox this year especially early on, and maybe the Red Sox let him carry them too much. Sale hasn’t had two good outings in a row since August 8th and August 13th against Tampa and New York. For a guy who has a history of fading in August and September, that should have you scared to death.
But the person who deserves the most blame for Sale is Farrell. Too many times this year he has left Sale in the game for no reason. The latest example was when he sent him back out in the 8th in a game they were winning 9-0, just to get his 300th strikeout when he was slated to make two more starts. Real good way to keep your most important player fresh.
All this along with the fact that the Red Sox don’t have a Game 3 starter has to make you nervous heading into October.
Although he’s been dog crap of late, posting an ERA of 11.12 in his last three starts, Fister should still be the guy. That’s more of a reflection on how dreadful Porcello has been in his last five starts. The reigning CY Young winner has posted an ERA of 5.93, that’s definitely not what you want to see from a guy trying to make the playoff rotation.
So while Fister has not been great, he is the most experienced. Farrell is just going to have to be prepared to manage it, and not wait until it’s too late if he struggles in the third inning.
For those who disagree with starting Fister: stop and think, would you rather Fister who may give you 4 good innings, or Porcello who is guranteed to serve up at least one moonshot per start? Give me a chance of not being down 3-0 before I even settle in.
Things aren’t looking up for the Red Sox but it’s a clean slate in October. But it certainly feels like last season all over again.