As of time of writing, we are officially one run through the Red Sox rotation in the 2019 season. Boston sits at a 1-4 record. So yes, it probably could’ve gone better.
Let’s go through the numbers. After one trip through the rotation, Sox starting pitchers allowed 32 runs in 21 innings, including 11 home runs. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the home run total is tied with the 1955 Braves and 1978 Blue Jays for the most home runs allowed by starting pitchers through the first five games of the season.
Want more fun stats? Sunday’s starter David Price joined Nathan Eovaldi and Chris Sale in allowing three homeruns in their outings. So, it’s happened three times in five games so far. Last year? A Red Sox starter allowed three or more home runs just seven times over 162 games. We’re not exactly on track to match that number this year.
What’s changed this year? What can fans and radio hosts point to and blame during these early-season woes? It looks like the Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham may have found an answer.
The Red Sox were very cautious with their starters in Fort Meyers this spring. Their pitchers labored 14 games in the postseason and manager Alex Cora wanted to be very deliberate with their workload before the regular season kicked off.
Following Rick Porcello’s less-than-stellar performance in Seattle, there were some who brought up Boston’s cautious plan.
“Whoever is doubting us, check what happened last year. We did the same thing,” Cora said.
Except they didn’t. Porcello, Price and Sale threw 48 and two-thirds innings in the 2018 preseason compared to 27 and two-thirds innings this year. So that’s at least something to think about.
Obviously, it is far from time to panic in Boston. They’re defending champions, three of their five starters own Cy Young awards, and they’re on a very weird 11-game road trip to start the season.
What this team really needs is to go home and hit the reset button. This Red Sox team went straight from spring training in Florida to a west coast road trip. I firmly believe this team will get back to Fenway and look like the Red Sox of 2018.
For what it’s worth though, the Red Sox’s odds of winning the AL East dropped seven percent with their 1-4 start, according to FanGraphs. Never too early to start worrying!