BOSTON (CBS) — The starting pitching for the Boston Red Sox has been downright dominant to start the 2018 season.
With fill-in Hector Valazquez (taking a turn in Boston’s starting five for the injured Drew Pomeranz) tossing 5.2 innings of one-run ball against the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday, Red Sox starters have allowed just two runs in 24 innings over Boston’s first four games of the season.
Chris Sale allowed no runs on Opening Day before the bullpen squandered his six shutout innings. David Price tossed a gem on Friday night, keeping the Rays off the scoreboard for seven innings as Boston picked up their first win of the season. Rick Porcello allowed just one run in his 5.1 innings on Saturday evening, and was followed by Valazquez’s impressive outing on Sunday afternoon.
Add it all up (though there really wasn’t much actual math required) and that quartet of starters made some franchise history down in St. Petersburg. It marks the first time in Boston’s 118-year history that their starting pitchers have allowed one run or fewer in each of the team’s first four games.
“Our starting pitching have done an outstanding job. It was amazing. Outstanding,” first-year manager Alex Cora said after Sunday’s win.
Boston’s four starters struck out 23 Rays in their 24 innings of work and tallied an impressive 0.875 WHIP. Granted, those numbers and that history-making stat came against a team that touts one of the worst offenses in baseball, but Boston’s starters more than held up their end of the bargain over the last four days. Thanks to that dominance, and a strong performance by the bullpen following their Opening Day debacle, the Red Sox were able to win a trio of one-run games and take three out of four in their first series of the season.
The offense will heat up eventually. But until then, the Red Sox can feel confident that their starting pitchers can (and will) carry the way.