The Boston Red Sox officially have a pitching problem. I didn’t want to admit it, but after last night’s 12-7 loss to the Baltimore Orioles, its really, really hard to ignore.
Rick Porcello went six innings and let up five runs including three home runs. A pair of two-run homers from Adam Jones and Mark Trumbo in the fourth and fifth innings put the Red Sox in an early four-run hole, but the offense once again bailed out the pitching staff when they put up five runs in the top of the sixth. Porcello then lost the lead again when Trumbo teed up an 88-mph meatball for his second home run of the game.
The bullpen picked up right where Porcello left off. Junichi Tazawa and Noe Ramirez each let up a pair of home runs to give the Orioles seven home runs on the night.
Joe Kelly is now in Pawtucket. Clay Buchholz is now in the bullpen. Wade Miley is in Seattle. Rick Porcello is now incompetent. And who knows how long Steven Wright’s streak of incredible pitching will last or if Eduardo Rodriguez can bounce back.
Teams have figured out the Red Sox pitching flaws and they were exposed in the last two games of this series with the Baltimore.
The Red Sox are scoring a ton of runs. They currently lead the MLB in batting average at .296 (the Pittsburgh Pirates are the next best at .277) and OPS at .845, but their pitching stats rank toward the bottom of the league. Their 4.44 ERA ranks 12th in the American League where they are surrounded by lowly teams like the Los Angeles Angels, Oakland Athletics and Detroit Tigers.
Dave Dombrowski desperately needs to make a move to improve the Red Sox pitching. This is David Ortiz’s last season and we’re seeing the offense gel in a way that Boston hasn’t seen in years. These next two years, before contract decisions on Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts need to be made, are the prime opportunities for the Red Sox to compete for a World Series. They cannot do that with the way their pitching staff is currently constructed from top to bottom.