Last night, Rick Porcello took the mound against the New York Yankees in a Saturday night matchup that quietly had major implications on the landscape of the AL East. With a win, the Red Sox pulled within a half game of the Baltimore Orioles for first place. On the other end of the spectrum, the Yankees continued their downward spiral towards the basement of the AL East, as they currently sit on a 8-14 records, 5.5 games back of first place.
With a relatively large amount of pressure on an otherwise meaningless game in April, it could have been easy for Boston's starter, Rick Porcello, to blow up like has done so many times before. However, Porcello continued his reign of dominance, tossing seven shutout innings, allowing only five hits, while striking out six batters to win his fifth game of the season.
Take a look at Porcello's numbers to start the season:
There is no question that this is the type of pitcher that the Boston Red Sox thought they were acquiring when they traded Yoenis Cespedes to the Detroit Tigers at the end of the 2014 season, but did anyone think he was going to be this dominant?
There are sexy names, such as Jose Fernandez, Sonny Gray and Chris Sale, that have been floated around Fenway Park since the signing of David Price, but could the Red Sox's next #2 starter be Rick Porcello?
I love what Porcello has been able to do since the start of this season. He has been exuding confidence and has done a terrific job of mixing up his pitches to keep hitters guessing. In the past, Porcello would move away from his sinker and rely solely on his four-seam fastball, which would subsequently be crushed out of the ballpark.
However, until we gain a larger sample size from Porcello, this should just be looked at as a fantastic and pleasant surprise.
The Boston Red Sox are a $200+ million team that has championship aspirations every single season. With one of the best lineups in all of baseball, the Red Sox should be looking to trade lesser players or members of their farm system in order to win now and gain talent. Adding a Sonny Gray to this already stout team would put them over the top and a clear-cut favorite to come out of the American League and threaten the Chicago Cubs for a World Series.
A starting rotation of David Price, Sonny Gray, Rick Porcello, Steven Wright, and Clay Buchholz (shoot me) could become a juggernaut that matches, if not surpasses, their offensive ability. This rotation does not even take into account Eduardo Rodriguez, who's return timetable is still unknown.