Latest news a reminder that Red Sox starting rotation's story has been a nightmare

Rob Bradford
September 18, 2019 - 7:58 am
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Let's put everything on pause and realize where things have landed.

After just about 1 a.m. Wednesday Alex Cora announced that David Price's 2019 season was likely done thanks to the persisting cyst on the pitcher's left wrist.

"Most likely we’re going to get together again just to go over a few things and see where we’re heading, but honestly, it feels like most likely we’re going to shut him down, but we have to go through the whole process and see how David feels about it and obviously the medical staff," Cora said. "Most likely we’ll make a final decision (Wednesday)."

If that is it for Price his 2019 will look like this: 7-5 with a 4.28 ERA in 107 1/3 innings. That, my friends, would be the second-best story on this starting staff.

About five hours before Cora's news related to Price Nathan Eovaldi was adding another uncomfortable piece to the starting pitching puzzle.

Eovaldi allowed five runs on seven hits over four innings. It was his 10th start of the season, with the righty's ERA sitting at 6.44 in those appearances (just one of which has gone beyond five innings).

"He’s been starting for a while now," Cora said. "I do feel that there were a lot of hits down in the zone. The first home run was a pitch down. Crawford got two hits down in the zone. Even the home run was a pitch down in the zone. Last year we talked about it: This guy, with his stuff, we need him. We have to get him to pitch up in the zone again. He can get some swings and misses up there, some weak contact. From there, we can expand down with the breaking ball and the split. But I remember last year, there were some starts in August – against Baltimore, the White Sox, even the Braves, in that period of time, everything was down, down, down. When he’s dominating, when he got here last year against the Twins, he was up. Against the Yankees, the eight innings, it was up in the zone. Against the Dodgers in the playoffs it was up in the zone. We have to do that. We live in an era that if you pitch on plane, the guys are going to catch up regardless of whether you’re throwing 100 or 91 (mph). There’s a lot of foul balls, too. That’s part of the mix.  There’s nothing we can do with that. But we’ll get it right, we’ll finish on a positive note, and he’ll be ready for the offseason to work on the things that he has to work, and he’s a guy that is very important for us in the coming years."

Chris Sale? He is down in Fort Myers, Fla. attempting to decipher his course of action after that season-ending elbow injury. (He will meet up with the team in St. Petersburg, Fla. this weekend.)

Rick Porcello wasn't at the park either Monday night due to a stomach virus,but does figure to have a couple of more starts left in his 2019 season.

At least there is Eduardo Rodriguez.

But take away Rodriguez's breakout season and what the Red Sox are left with in terms of starting pitching results is striking. 

In games started by what was perceived to be the Top 4 of this rotation -- Sale, Price, Eovaldi and Porcello -- the Red Sox have gone 43-44. Their combined ERA is 5.05. That group also made up $81.5 million of the team's payroll this season. To say this isn't how the Red Sox drew it up would be the understatement of the last three centuries.

Want to have a successful season, you can't have this happen. The records turned in by the starters for the Astros (71-36), the A's (64-34), Twins (62-38), Indians (59-47) and Yankees (57-36) are proof of that.

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