Boston's pitching triumvirate on deck for huge weekend
We find out soon if Chris Sale, Rick Porcello and David Price
are what they were deemed to be - Boston's Big Three.
(Photo courtesy Boston Globe)
Ben Whitehead Contributing writer
Rick Porcello. David Price. Chris Sale.
Those three names strike fear in opposing lineups.
Only, sort of.
Reigning American League Cy Young winner Porcello is 3-6 with a 4.21 ERA entering June. He went 22-4 with a 3.15 ERA to earn the top honor a year ago. In 2016, he held the opposition to a .230 average and struck out a career high 189 batters. He's on a similar strikeout pace with 68 through the first two months of the season, but batters are hitting .306 against Porcello this year.
Price has been recovering from an injury he sustained in the spring. He made his debut Monday in Chicago, allowing three runs in five innings for a no-decision. In 2016, Price posted his highest ERA (3.99) since his rookie campaign in 2009, but did win 17 games for the Sox.
And then there's Chris Sale, who is the lone amigo to uphold his end of the bargain. Sale has been lights out in 2017, leading all Red Sox starting pitchers in nearly every statistical category. He's even received high praise from Pedro Martinez, that of which Pedro says Sale is doing things better than he in Boston.
With Boston's trio taking the mound Friday through Sunday in Baltimore, it's the biggest opportunity to showcase what's been said since December. These three pitchers are fearsome and should be a big reason why the Red Sox run away with the division.
Porcello gets the start tonight (Friday). He was a hard-luck loser in his outing against the O's a month ago, giving up just two runs in six innings with seven strikeouts and no walks. He can set the tone for the weekend by quieting the Baltimore bats.
Price will go Saturday and Sale gets to close out the series Sunday. The addition of Price to the rotation is huge in many ways, but giving the Sox three aces in a row will do wonders going forward. Winning two of these next three - and subsequently splitting the four-game series - would be expected. However, winning three in a row with dominant outings by each of the pitchers would serve notice to the rest of the league.
Needless to say, this is a big weekend for Boston against a division rival. It started off on the wrong foot Thursday. But the real series begins when Porcello, Price and Sale take the hill.