On the bright side, things have to go up from here, right?
Let’s be honest. The rotation isn’t this bad. Oh, sure, they’re pitching like garbage at the moment. But, this isn’t who they are.
When the Red Sox set up their pitching staff, we all joked about the lack of an ace. There were endless discussions about the lack of an ace. Either you were OK with going into the seasons with five #3 pitchers, or not. But, most everyone agreed it was a staff of #3s. Maybe #3/#4s. Right now, they’re pitching like #12s.
But, we have to assume that will change, right? Can we really assume that all five of the Red Sox starters all suddenly forgot how to pitch at once, and will continue to be terrible all season? Does that ever happen?
Right now, the Sox starter’s ERAs are an average of 2.26 runs higher than their career ERA. On average, they’re more than a run higher than their previous worst single season ERA. That can’t continue.
Just like I don’t think Hanley Ramirez will keep up his 70-HR pace all season. I expect him to hit for a lot of power, but not be historically good. Just like I don’t think David Ortiz will hit .230 all season. I expect a decline, but not for him to be epically bad. Likewise I don’t expect Wade Miley to have an 8.62 ERA all season. I don’t expect Pedro numbers, but he should be at least mediocre.
So, what’s going on? Not sure. It could be a collective slump. Although, I think all the pitchers have had at least one good performance. Even Miley had a scoreless outing. Maybe it’s a curse of small sample size. Joe Kelly gave up three runs in the first inning the other night after a delay disrupted his pregame routine. These things happen over the course of a season. After that, he settled down. But, in a small sample size, it killed him. Without that inning, his ERA drops by almost a run. Porcello had a four run inning. Take that away, and his ERA drops by a run too.
Which, I know, you can’t do. Both those pitchers threw those innings. But, if you’re going to go on and on about the terrible pitching staff, it’s worth noting that the numbers have been skewed. What’s your seeing isn’t really representing their whole body of work.
It also means that there’s reason to believe there’s hope. Kelly and Porcello aren’t as bad as their numbers might indicate. Buchholz has always been a question wrapped in an enigma. But, he’s never been god awful. This is worse than he’s ever been. So, there’s reason to believe there’s some improvement on the way. Sure, he’s might throw eight innings of one run ball one game, and one inning of eight run ball the next game. But, history tells us that he’ll throw more games closer to the former than the latter. As frustrating as that might be at times…like last night. Wade Miley might be a question mark coming to the AL. But, the AL isn’t three times as hard as the NL. A 200 inning guy doesn’t become a 100 inning guy. Again, one of his three starts was masterful. It’s the other two that are the exceptions. Masterson might be the one guy about where he’ll be. He’s working out some things. He was always going to be a project full of questions. But, isn’t a 2-0 record with a 5+ ERA about what we expected? Frankly, isn’t that what we assumed everyone on the staff would be? If everyone just pitched to the level Masterson is currently at, the offense should take it from there.
Based on past performance and sample sizes… is that so far-fetched?