Just one year ago, Rick Porcello seemed such a mind-bogglingly bad investment, I wondered aloud if, in fact, his career in Boston was part of an elaborate revenge strategy for the 2013 postseason.
But last night he joined the elite ranks, becoming the first Red Sox pitcher to win 19 games in one season since Jon “genuflect when you say his name” Lester did it in 2010. With about five or six more starts remaining this season, there’s no reason to think he won’t become the Sox’ first 20 game winner since Josh “take a shot of bourbon and punch yourself in the nuts when you say his name” Beckett did it in 2007. Hell, at this point Schilling’s 21 wins in 2004 and Pedro’s sterling 23 wins in 1999 could be easily surpassed. Slick Rick breathing the same rarefied air as Lester, Curt and Pedey? That’s where we’re heading, chief.
Last night’s win, which pole-vaulted the Red Sox into a dead heat tie with Toronto for first place in the east, looked like it might be a no-no as well, as Rick kept the A’s off the bases for half the game, until a line drive to left floated just out of reach of Chris Young. Which is a shame, because Young had just one inning earlier made a stellar grab of a fly foul ball that seemed destined for the stands, and JBJ flashed some serious leather on a fly to center. Such catches are usually the harbingers of no-hitters to come.
But it wasn’t all pitching last night. Our offense has become a 600 pound gorilla, ready to fuck your shit up at the drop of a hat. Pedroia is tearing it up at the top of the order, and Xander and JBJ are shaking off that mid-August funk. Meanwhile, Ortiz continues to defy age, picking up another 3 hits last night and basically going all-in for another postseason trip before he hangs up the spikes.
Again, I know that this outburst of 27 runs across two games comes against the dregs of the AL. And, man, these A’s are a far cry from the Dave Stewart-led teams that regularly squashed our playoff aspirations. But these are teams we have to feast on, as dictated by the baseball food chain. No excuse for losing to a shit team when you’ve got October in your sights.
If Eduardo Rodriguez can keep up the good work today, I”m gonna call it: Red Sox win the East by 2 games.