Red Sox Starters Have Been Historically Bad the First Time Through the Rotation

Sox starters clearly don't have it first time through the rotation

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Six innings, five hits, four runs, three home runs. One turn through the rotation, that’s the best line by a Red Sox starting pitcher (David Price). Lauded as the team’s strength during the playoffs and the offseason, the starting pitchers have been problem #1 with the 2019 Boston Red Sox. And #2. And #3, #4, #5.

After dropping last night’s affair with the Oakland A’s 7-0, the Boston Red Sox fell to 1-4, their worst start since the Bobby Valentine era a la 2012. The Sox are breaking records, just not the good kind.

  • The Sox starters have the worst ERA through the first four games out of any team the past 10 years.
  • According to ESPN, the 2019 Red Sox are tied with the 1955 Braves and the 1978 Blue Jays for the most home runs allowed by starting pitchers in the first five games.
  • The Red Sox have the 4th worst run differential by a reigning World Series champion in the first five games.

The Red Sox rotation, consisting of Chris Sale, Nathan Eovaldi, Eduardo Rodriguez, Rick Porcello and David Price, has combined to go 0-4 with a 11.14 ERA, a 2.190 WHIP and a .351 batting average against. They have allowed 11 homer runs and have 24 strikeouts and 13 walks. They have been the worst rotation in the MLB so far and it’s not particularly close.

Not. Good.

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Despite the ugly start, Red Sox legend Pedro Martinez isn’t concerned.

It’s not a surprise the starters don’t look ready, they’ve barely pitched since October. Yet, despite the brutal start, Manager Alex Cora has no regrets about heavily reducing his rotation’s load during spring training.

“I didn’t rethink about it last year, you saw what happened. It was the same plan. Whoever’s doubting us [after] what we did last year. I mean this year? Check what happened last year.”

“It’s easy to second-guess now what we did. Nobody second-guessed us last year. It’s a program, you have to be disciplined. So that’s the way I see it. If people think [the pitchers] didn’t start too many games, that they didn’t have too many innings, they should get back to what we did last year in spring training. I mean, we played until Oct. 28, and the previous year, when I got here, everybody was talking how they ran out of bullets in October against the Houston Astros [in the 2017 American League Division Series].”

The Red Sox may be suffering now, but according the David Price, there’s no reason to panic.

“Just nothing good is happening right now. And we’d rather it happen right now than the last two weeks of September or whatever. So we’ll get through this time. We’ll be better for it.”

Chris Sale will try to right the ship tonight at 10:07pm as the Red Sox take on the Oakland Athletics in Game 2 of the series.