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Pitching is Key

Posted By Tyler Hetu On May 15 2013 @ 5:25 pm In Boston Red Sox | No Comments

The 2013 Boston Red Sox have been so much more than I expected. In February, I thought this team was going to be a major bust. Looking like the 2012 Red Sox all over again: A complete joke. BUT, I quickly ate my words after they very quickly became the ‘team to beat’ in the American League, and at one point had a comfortable 3 game lead over the East.

How are the Red Sox doing so well? Its very simply, their pitching.

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “defense wins championships” but I believe that’s just an urban legend. Teams in the past didn’t just focus their team entirely off the success of defense, although it does help, but by the success of their ace and their other starters. Last year, Boston’s starters’ ERA was 5.19, which ranked as 4th-worst in all of baseball. Among all the team’s pitchers who started any games for them, only Franklin Morales had an ERA below 4.56. Felix Doubront was arguably the Red Sox’ best starter with a 11-10 record, 167 strikeouts, and a 4.86 ERA. It doesn’t take a genius to know there is no winning formula involving numbers like those for a team’s “best” pitcher. The World Series winners of 2012, the San Francisco Giants,  had super-star ace Matt Cain hold down their Championship season. Along with Cain was Madison Baumgarner, Ryan Vogelsong, and Barry Zito, all very good pitchers that were incredible in the regular season and also into the postseason.

The Red Sox of 2012 and 2011 were missing a dominant or leading pitcher, and for this year, they have two.

Jon Lester so far has gone 5-0 with a 2.73 ERA and 45 Ks, and Clay Buccholz 6-0 with a 1.69 ERA and 21 Ks. As of right now, both are in the top five for starting pitchers in the American League, only behind Yu Darvish of the Rangers and Felix Hernandez of the Mariners.

That’s pretty good company for two guys projected ERAs that were close to 5.00 .

Along with Clay and Jon, Ryan Dempster has been a big surprise for the Sox this year. Dempster has an era of 3.75, which is ok, but he ranks 7th in the ML in Ks. Dempster, flying under the radar at 2-4, is a strikeout machine, averaging about 7 Ks per game. And for a pitcher that only goes 5.0-7.0 innings, that’s pretty good for someone getting up there in the years category.

As of Mid-May (May 15th), these are the Red Sox pitching statistics:

W: 22 (7th in MLB)

L: 17 (19th in MLB)

ERA: 4.00 (19th in MLB)

SV: 9 (17th in MLB)

ER/R: 154/166 (9th and 10th in both categories)

BB: 142 (4th highest in the MLB)

K: 368 (2nd in the MLB to the Detroit Tigers)

BAA: .240 (7th in MLB)


Although a majority of the stats listed have them in the middle of the pack, I believe that the pitching staff in Boston is one of the best in baseball. No questions.


-Tyler Hetu


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