Photo Credit: AP Photo / Richard W. Rodriguez
The Red Sox lone right hander is seeking a second bid at a Cy Young award.
On Friday night Porcello dazzled Red Sox fans again, providing a solid 6 innings giving up only 3 hits and punching out 8 batters. Porcello has continued to pitch like the guy we saw win the Cy Young in 2016, and based on his numbers through his first 7 starts, he might just be the same guy. Now I know that we’re not even a quarter of the way through the season but what Porcello is doing has really been familiar.
Through his first 7 outings he allowed only 36 H and 10 BB while boasting a 3.11 ERA in 46.1 IP and striking out 46.
Through his first 7 starts he’s allowed only 33 H and 5 BB with 46 SO in 46.1 IP and a 2.14 ERA.
Now you might look at these numbers and say that they’re nearly identical, which they are. The most important thing for Porcello to continue this dominance is his pitch count and his strike efficiency, which is where he is executing much better than he was in 2016.
During Porcello’s run for the Cy Young he had thrown 733 pitches with only 63% being strikes. He was averaging about 104 pitches an outing. Meanwhile with a new manager at the helm who has a philosophy of keeping guys fresh we have a big change in Porcello’s pitch count. So far he has thrown 698 pitches with 68% for strikes and averaging about 100 pitches each outing.
Now that isn’t a big difference in pitches thrown but the fact that Porcello is throwing less in each outing while still putting up slightly better numbers to his Cy Young season is huge.
If Porcello wants to go after another Cy Young keeping his pitch count down will not only help him, but it will help the Red Sox if they find themselves making a deep postseason run.