AL East Round Up: Report Card Edition: Pitching

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Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Boston Red Sox

I have taken great pleasure watching John Ferrell’s squad hanging out in the basement for so long. Although, now I’m not laughing so loudly. Especially since these Red Sox have come in to Toronto and put the Jays in their place. Literally. The Red Sox are starting to come around and we’re seeing them climb the standings. Their offense will eventually live up to its potential. The defense needs to pick up the slack.

Starting Pitching: C+
The Red Sox rotation has been up and down. It hasn’t been reliable OR terrible. It’s been consistently inconsistent. The starters have combined to average a WHIP of 1.497 and an ERA of 4.48. They’re giving up 10.5 hits per 9 innings. They’re only walking 2.98/9 while striking out 8.22/9. So, the hits are what is killing them. This extends innings and rallies. It also puts an added pressure on the offense too. Yet again, there is another team in the AL East whose starters do not stay long in the games. They are averaging roughly 5 2/3 innings per start. Jon Lester has the lowest ERA at 2.67, but he has a losing record. Jake Peavy also has a sub 3 ERA (2.87). Once the warmer months come and pitchers begin to stretch out, the Red Sox should have a rotation that will at the very least, keep them in games. At most, they have the ability to dominate.

Bullpen: B
The bullpen for the Sox is working on a WHIP of 1.68! This is due to them combining to average 7.8 hits/9. When you’re work is limited to an inning or two, this number is too high. Yet, because the starters are not going deep into games, the bullpen has been asked to chip in almost 81 innings. In 25 games, this is an average of 3 2/3 innings. This is not a sustainable pace on a nightly basis. It certainly isn’t a recipe for repeating as champions. Despite their work load, the relievers have combined to only lose 3 games in relief and blow one save. In fact, they’ve managed to win 4 games in relief! They are keeping their team in the game (with 6 holds) until the offense can catch up.