Red Hot Red Sox

by Hal Bent

The Boston Red Sox have stormed out the gate so far this spring (as of 4/20 at 10:00AM) with an impressive 11-4 start built largely upon the backs of impressive starting pitching through the first 15 games of the young season.  Thinking that the Red Sox start is attributable to good pitching and then seeing the results in front of you on your computer screen are staggering.  Other than an injured John Lackey (who was pitching probably his best game ever in a Boston uniform) all starters have gone at least 5 innings in each start without giving up more than 3 runs. More impressive than that, the starters have averaged more than a strikeout per inning, with 98 punch-outs in the first 89 innings pitched (9.9 strikeouts per game, a fantastic rate).  Also impressive, these games were against the AL East (other than the three last games versus Cleveland), all strong teams. Check the chart below:

04/01/2013Jon LesterAt NYA10010005522027002
04/03/2013Clay BuchholzAt NYA10010007611124000
04/04/2013Ryan DempsterAt NYA10001005533148000
04/05/2013Felix DoubrontAt TOR10000005933106001
04/06/2013John LackeyAt TOR10001004 1/3522118000
04/07/2013Jon LesterAt TOR10010007500006100
04/08/2013Clay BuchholzVs. BAL10010007300048000
04/10/2013Ryan DempsterVs. BAL10000005331127001
04/11/2013Alfredo AcevesVs. BAL10000005622134000
04/13/2013Jon LesterVs. TBA10000007511015001
04/14/2013Clay BuchholzVs. TBA100100082000411000
04/15/2013Ryan DempsterVs. TBA100000072111210001
04/16/2013Felix DoubrontAt CLE10010005422047000
04/17/2013Alfredo AcevesAt CLE10010005733232000
04/18/2013Jon LesterAt CLE10010007422015000
Totals15 Games1500820089 1/371252393398106
ERAWin Pct.K per 9BB per 9HR per 9K/BB

Statistics courtesy of my friends at:

Of course, this Red Sox team was built around depth in the bullpen.  The pitching has been lights-out (for the most part) with the bullpen looking extremely tough even with closer Joel Hanrahan on the disabled list. With Andrew Bailey moving to closer and long-reliever Alfredo Aceves moving into the rotation, the Red Sox pitching staff has barely missed a beat.

Check out these stats from the mighty Boston bullpen compared to their surprisingly effective starting pitchers:


With these type of statistics, this is the real reason for the Red Sox coming out and having an impressive April in 2013. 

The Red Sox are already surprising most observers who put them down as unble to compete until the infusion of youth would arrive in the majors in 2015 or so.  Instead, an offense full of grinders and dirt dogs like Dustin Pedroia, Mike Napoli, Shane Victorino, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Will Middlebrooks, Daniel Nava, Johnny Gomes, and with the return of David Ortiz and a healthy Jacoby Ellsbury, this team suddenly looks built (if they remain healthy) to grind out enough wins to remain in contention in the American League East this season and put   the nightmare of 2012 and Bobby Valentine in the past.


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