Rick Porcello's intensity got the best of him on Wednesday night. It has been a long season.
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Fresh off a first inning that saw him allow a run on a double and single to the first two Tampa Bay batters, Porcello descended the dugout stairs, where a pair of monitors broadcasting images of the bullpens hung above the entrance to the tunnel leading back to the clubhouse.
Porcello slammed one with each fist, shattering both screens. It was a moment of frustration that spoke volumes about the kind of year Porcello is having, and following Boston's 8-5 loss to the Rays, he apologized.
"It's a reaction of frustration," he said. "It's not behavior I condone. Obviously, everybody gets frustrated. I kind of wish I did that without cameras being on me. I apologize to everyone that had to see that. It's not behavior that I feel like is representative of me and my personality. My frustration got the best of me, so I apologize for that and anybody that had to watch that."
At the time of his outburst, the Red Sox only trailed 1-0. The real damage would come in the second, when the Rays slammed a pair of homers, including a three-run shot by Austin Meadows. Porcello recovered to throw three scoreless innings before being lifted following a third homer in the sixth.
He allowed six runs on nine hits in 5.2 innings while falling to 9-8. His ERA climbed to 5.74. He has allowed six runs in four of his past six starts.
"There's no doubt it's been frustrating," he said. "I haven't been able to be effective for us pretty much all year now. I care about this team. I care about the game, and I care about what I'm doing a lot. When that's not happening, it's tough to swallow. You put a lot of work into it and you go out there every five days and give it up and put our team in a tough spot, it's frustrating. That's the simplest way I could put it."
Teammate Xander Bogaerts happened to be standing directly behind Porcello while he unloaded on the TVs, and he understands the frustration.
"He's a gamer," Bogaerts said. "He's a gamer. I know starting pitchers pitch every five days. This is his day. Maybe he didn't like the way that first inning went. He's a gamer, man. Sometimes I enjoy watching him show some emotion. Obviously, you feel bad when he gives up a couple of runs. You feel bad for him. But that type of reaction from him, sometimes it's [needed]. It's good."
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