This is the Red Sox rotation general manager Ben Cherington envisioned going into the season.
After a terrible month of April, where the starters finished with an ERA of 5.75, May has been much better. Red Sox starters have posted a 2.05 ERA in their last six games. Even further, they have thrown at least five innings and have allowed two earned runs or fewer in six consecutive games. They didn’t have a streak like that all of last season.
“We had a couple of meetings where we’ve gotten together and talked as a staff and we are just trying to go out there and have fun again as a staff and not worry so much,” starter Wade Miley said following his start Tuesday night. “Just try and make pitches, eliminate some of the pressure, enjoy the game, enjoy baseball.”
Miley is a perfect example of the rotation performing much better of late. In his first four starts of the year, the left-hander had an ERA of 8.62 and threw just 15 2/3 innings. In his last four starts, he has an ERA of 3.04 and has thrown 26 2/3 innings.
The hurlers at the top – Rick Porcello and Clay Buchholz – have also stepped up.
Porcello, in his first year in Boston, has an ERA of 4.26, but in reality he’s thrown better than that as he had one poor start against Baltimore on April 19 when he allowed eight runs in five innings. Over his last five starts, the right-hander has gone at least five innings and has allowed three runs or less in four of them.
Buchholz too has performed well aside from two starts that inflated his ERA to 4.93 for the season. Over his first eight starts, Buchholz has had five starts where he’s gone at least six innings, allowing three earned runs or less.
As the season gets into the dog days and the division races, along with the weather, heats up, it is going to be even more important for the starting rotation to continue their upward trend.
“Any time or any team I’ve been associated with, for a team to get on a prolonged stretch of success or to stop not having success, comes from pitching,” manager John Farrell said. “That’s where it has to start, and that’s what it has to be led by, then you point more specifically to the starters.”