Out of the Basement!

Yes, that's right. Your 2011 Boston Red Sox are no longer the worst team (by record) in baseball. 

With their win today, the Sox are 5-10. And, thanks to a series of Monday off-days, the Astros and Mets are idle, their 5-11 records taking over as the worst in baseball. Minnesota and Seattle also play tonight, and a loss by either team would drop it below the Sox, as well. 

The Sox got here behind an unexpectedly strong start from Daisuke Matsuzaka, whose 77 game score was a revelation — though it should be noted he posted a game score of 70 or better six times last season (he had just as many below 40).

This was the Sox' third start with a game score of 70 or better this season; only two AL clubs (the Angels and White Sox) have done better, and it's the first time since 2007 that has happened for the Sox. That year, Daisuke was involved, too, as his big-league debut (70) was the first shutdown performance of the year for what would be a terrific Red Sox pitching staff. Curt Schilling (twice) and Josh Beckett added stellar performances to bolster a great start for the Sox as a club that year.

The best run of individual performances by Sox starters over the first 15 games came in 1946, when Mickey Harris, Tex Hughson and Dave "Boo" Ferriss each posted a 70 or better game score twice and Joe Dobson joined them once. All seven starts were complete games, none better than Dobson's three-hit shutout with nine strikeouts, an 87 game score.

The all-time record is held by the 1966 Cleveland Indians, who had 11 such games in their first 15. Sam McDowell had four all on his own.

At any rate, 5-10. After starting 0-6, the Sox went 2-1 against New York, then 0-3. A 3-0 run has them at 5-4 since the season-opening losing streak. Things are looking up. Now they've got to maintain the momentum on the road.

2 comments… add one
  • On the downside, Carl had two, maybe three, really bad at-bats, although that RBI double in the 7th off the Monster was a plus. And Gonzalez didn’t look too great, either. And what happens when Jed (.533) Lowrie comes back to Earth and isn’t carrying the boys anymore?
    On the other hand, Kevin ‘The Cincinnati Kid’ (see comedy sketch, Kids in the Hall) Youkilis looked really good, and Papi and Drew looked good, but against a LH pitcher they own.
    Then again, they didn’t have to rely on Pedroia to carry them.
    Here’s when I get excited:
    * Ells is batting .280+ in the leadoff slot and stealing bases (starting to wonder if, long term, Reddick isn’t the future CF)
    * Tito finds the right spot in the order for Carl, who settles into it (hint, it’s not leadoff OR 7-9)
    * Gonzo starts banging them off the Monster
    * We go through the rotation with everyone getting a strong start
    * Wheeler goes three straight outings without giving up a homer
    * Salty plays five straight mistake-free games
    * Bard’s ERA drops below 2.50 (yes, an arbitrary number)
    * The trio of Colon, Millwood and Silva proves to be an abject failure
    I don’t really see that as pessimism because it is just April. But I remain convinced that this team wasn’t prepared when it left Fort Myers.
    The post in general, Paul, yes, I agree.
    Oh, one more:
    * I land that job that’s gonna more than double my pay.
    In the meantime, the eye that isn’t glues to the Sox will be glued to the weather geek web sites becuase the NWS doesn’t have much good to say about the western Great Lakes region through May.

    I'mBillMcNeal April 18, 2011, 11:39 pm
  • Awkward transitions in that post inspired by Samuel Adams’ Noble Pils.

    I'mBillMcNeal April 18, 2011, 11:40 pm

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