Rick Porcello throws a fastball of average velocity -- 90.2 mph in 2016, which ranked 56th of 72 qualified starting pitchers in the big leagues. In Tim Tebow's first plate appearance Wednesday, Porcello attacked him with only that pitch, without significant concern for locating the ball.
Porcello didn't aim for what is probably the most vulnerable spot in Tebow's swing -- near his hands. Rather, Porcello just pumped fastballs over the middle and outer half of the plate, which is theoretically where Tebow has the best chance to make contract right now, because that location gives him an instant more to draw his hands through his swing.
It was as if the Red Sox pitcher were a math instructor checking Tebow's competency with the most basic problems -- simple addition -- before bothering to move onto more complicated stuff, the algebra and calculus of breaking balls and pitch sequences and the knuckle-busting fastballs.