Alright, we give Rick Porcello a lot of crap in these parts. And a lot of it, so far, has been justified.

Watching ownership refuse to pay Jon Lester and then turn around and crash a blimp full of cash in Porcello’s backyard — before he’d even thrown a single regular season pitch for us — seemed a curious move. When the multi-millionaire stumbled out of the gate with a losing record and fat ERA, it only fanned the fires of malcontent. “Why,” we asked, as we threw down our Miller Lites, “did ownership see fit to saddle us with this guy?” Hell, I even speculated that his struggles might be part of a bigger conspiracy.

But last night, Porcello looked like the kind of guy you do lock up to a long-term contract, going seven strong and giving up a mere five hits. Yes, it only raised his record to 6-11 and lowered his ERA to 5.47. But, man, he looked good doing it.

Is this the beginning of a turnaround? Is Porcello set to become the staff anchor that ownership no doubt hoped he would be when they handcuffed themselves to him? Will the rumors that Dombrowski is already trying to unload him die off? Even if I’m the guy starting most of those rumors?

All I know is last night’s performance deserves accolades. And provided a bit of comfort in a season that won’t stop kicking my ass.