Red Sox Pitchers Make Historic Mark Unseen in a Century

Red Sox face challenges despite stellar pitching performances

by Nouman Rasool
Red Sox Pitchers Make Historic Mark Unseen in a Century
© Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

In a difficult season for the Boston Red Sox, the team's starters have managed to breathe life into a historic, century-old tale of excellence. Lying at the bottom of the AL East standings, the collective rotation by the Red Sox is laudable, with the ability to record a 1.72 ERA collectively through the first 21 games of the season.

MLB insider Bob Nightengale says this performance is the worst for the franchise since 1920 and the second worst in the majors since 2000. Brayan Bello is at the top of the rotation, having made five starts, with a team-leading 3.04 ERA.

But his teammates have managed to do even better. Tanner Houck has been exceptional, with an ERA of 1.35 and 28 strikeouts in just over 26 innings. Nick Pivetta and Kutter Crawford also have ERAs below 1.00, showing a perfect start to the season.

Period of Decline

This pitching has pitched in when the broader Red Sox have struggled; they have not won a division since 2018, and four out of the last five seasons have seen them miss the playoffs. This is after a golden era that had brought four World Series titles to the club in the 2000s, in dramatic comebacks from ages-long "Curses of the Bambino." The last championship in 2018 had capped the dominant stretch, but the years that followed have been one of decline for the club in question.

Such a slump in the team's performance has translated into vitriol with the management of the team, particularly more so in the high-profile 2020 trade of star player Mookie Betts. The departure of Betts proved particularly contentious in a broader strategic move to shed costs because it was clear that he was instrumental in form with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Now, as the Red Sox start pulling themselves back into the race, the focus is on their excellent rotation; it has been a bright spot in an otherwise lackluster year. The team will hit the road over the weekend in a series against the Pittsburgh Pirates, giving their starters one more chance to rise above team-wide struggles.

It's not just a historic pitching performance for this team to find some light at the end of the tunnel. It's a story line fans and observers are pulling for to arise again within this storied franchise.

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