In a start on September 9th against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre, the 2007 first round selection (27th overall by Detroit) recorded his 20th win of the season, becoming the first Red Sox pitcher to do so since Josh Beckett in 2007. Dating back to 1913, Porcello joined Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez (20-4, 1999 and 2002), Roger Clemens (20-4, 1986 and 1997) and Boo Ferriss (20-4, 1946) as the only pitchers in franchise history to win as many as 20 of their first 24 decisions in a season. On September 19th against the Baltimore Orioles, the Morristown, New Jersey native became only the second pitcher since the start of 2015 to throw fewer than 90 pitches and record at least 9.0 innings pitched in a game, joining Jeff Samardzija, who accomplished the feat for the Chicago White Sox last season on September 21st against the Detroit Tigers. Prior to Porcello, the last Red Sox pitchers to record that pitching line were Aaron Cook (6/29/12 at Seattle) and Clemens (9/10/88 vs. Cleveland). Moreover, the eight-year veteran recorded his 11th consecutive start, dating back to July 29th, in which he logged 7.0- or-more innings pitched and allowed three-or-fewer runs. The impressive stretch tied Hall of Famers Cy Young (1904) and Martinez (2000) for the longest such streak in a single season by a Red Sox pitcher. With his final win of the season on September 24th against the Tampa Bay Rays, Porcello became the first Sox pitcher to win 22 games in a season since Martinez in his Cy Young Award-winning 1999 season (23). Additionally, Boston's acquisition during the 2015 offseason finished the season with 13 consecutive quality starts, tying Martinez (2000) and Clemens (1987) for second-most in club history. Clemens (1990) and Herb Pennock (1919) pace the storied franchise with 14 straight quality starts.
Others receiving votes for AL Pitcher of the Month included Justin Verlander (2-1, 1.93 ERA, 32.2 IP, 48 SO) of the Tigers; Zach Britton (8 SV, 11 G, 0.00 ERA, 10 SO) and Ubaldo Jimenez (3-1, 2.31 ERA, 1 CG, 35.0 IP) of the Orioles; Ricky Nolasco (3-2, 1.85 ERA, 34.0 IP, 24 SO) of the Los Angeles Angels; Ervin Santana (1-1, 2.65 ERA, 34.0 IP, 36 SO) of the Minnesota Twins; and Collin McHugh (3-0, 3.10 ERA, 29.0 IP, 26 SO) of the Houston Astros.
The American League Pitcher of the Month, Rick Porcello, will receive a specially designed trophy, suitably engraved, for his accomplishment.