I have been on the Red Sox Hype Train since the beginning of the season. This team is just so God damn fun to watch, as they are punishing every pitcher they go up against. They are able to make elite pitchers in the American League, like Dallas Keuchel and Danny Salazar, look like amateurs and keep them in ballgames when the pitching suffers.
However, it is unrealistic to think that this offense is going to be able to keep up with this historic pace. Will they continue to mash the baseball? Absolutely. Will they be able to score 5, 6, or even 7 runs a game to bail out this terrible pitching staff? Probably not.
Unfortunately, the pitching staff, led by a David Price that at one time had an ERA north of 7, is in complete disarray. While David Price has turned it around as of late (sub-3 ERA in his last five starts), the rest of the Red Sox pitching staff is filled with question marks and abnormalities.
Rick Porcello started the season looking as if he could step up and be the Red Sox's much alluded number two starter. Through five starts this season, Porcello had amassed a 2.76 ERA in 32.2 innings, while striking out 36 batters and only walking six. However, since then, Porcello has come back down to earth and struggled against better lineups. Make no mistake about it, Porcello is a good pitcher. He may not deserve the $82.5 million contract he signed with the Red Sox before he even put on their uniform, but if Porcello is a team's #3 or #4 pitcher in a rotation, you are in good shape. Unfortunately for the Red Sox, they are relying on Porcello to be something he is not, and that is a top-end of the rotation arm.
Steven Wright has impressed this season, hurling three complete games and amassing a measly 2.45 ERA, which is one of the best in baseball. If this was any other pitcher, the Red Sox would be looking to extend him to a $150+ million contract. However, because he throws a knuckleball and those types of pitchers are just so inconsistent, the Red Sox should be hesitant to rely on Wright to keep up with this pace. He may be able to have a fantastic regular season, but do you really want Steven Wright taking the ball in Game 2 of a playoff series?
After these three, the starting rotation starts to become cloudy. Eduardo Rodriguez has come back from the knee injury that has caused him to miss a couple months of the season, but E-Rod's velocity is 2-4 MPH slower since returning. The Red Sox should be extremely careful to not rush back the youngster. Clay Buchholz, Joe Kelly, and Henry Owens have all made appearances in the starting rotation this season, but none of them look like the savior that this Red Sox team so desperately needs.
Furthermore, the Red Sox bullpen has been just as bad as the starting rotation. Koji Uehara and Junichi Tazawa have given up multiple leads in this early season, which has made John Farrell rely on the likes of Tommy Layne, Robbie Ross Jr., Heath Hembree, and Matt Barnes. Not great.
It will be hard for Red Sox Nation to realize this because the team is in first place, but Boston needs some arms right now. While a top-end of the rotation pitcher, like Jose Fernandez or Sonny Gray, would be just what the doctor ordered, that type of pitcher will not be available until closer to the Trade Deadline. The Red Sox need to make a move now for guy that can take the ball every fifth day, and they also need some help in the bullpen.
If they can get some more pitching, there is no reason to think that this team cannot threaten for not only an American League pennant, but the World Series.