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Too Late For Boston To Win 90?

Posted by Steve Lombardi on April 20, 2010

By most accounts, the 2010 Boston Red Sox have gotten off to a poor start this year.

So, how many times, since 1952, have the Red Sox lost 8+ of their first 13 games in a season? Thanks to's Play Index Pitching Game Finder, we can look at these types of things by asking for:

From 1952 to 2010, Playing for BOS, Team Lost, as Starter, In team's first 13 games, sorted by greatest Performances matching selected criteria by a Team

Here's the list of Bosox teams, since 1952, with 8+ losses in their first 13 games:


Therfore, Boston fans, while this start in 2010 ain't great, it isn't as bad as the Sox start in 1996 - that's for sure.

But, on the somewhat negative-side, no Boston Red Sox team since 1952 has lost 9+ of it's first 13 games of a season and then went on to win more than 86 games that year.

Of course, the book on 2010 hasn't been finished yet - and there's always a chance to break that "record."

7 Responses to “Too Late For Boston To Win 90?”

  1. DavidRF Says:

    This information is also available in this site outside the Play Index without the 1952 cutoff restrictions.

    You can go to More->Frivolities->Team Game Log Reports->Streak Reports

    Click on the franchise, Select "All Years" and check "From the beginning of the season only".

    Here's the result for Boston:

    A quirk here is that "BOS" includes both the NA and UA versions of the franchise which dominate the top of the list but there are only 5+1 NA+UA seasons so they are not too difficult to filter out visually.

    The worst start ever by a 90-win Red Sox team was 4-7-2 in 1914. Discounting ties, the worst 13-decision starts by 90-win Red Sox teams were 1914 and 1977 at 5-8. The worst start by a playoff Red Sox team 6-7 by the 1903 team that won the very first World Series.

    Incidentally, Boston's other team in 1914 -- the Miracle Braves - started off 3-10 and won the World Series.

  2. BCC Says:

    I don't quit on the Sox until they are mathematically eliminated.

    That said, I'll take an early dog rather than the traditional fast start followed by an August swoon. It'll save me a lot of time and mental energy.

  3. Steve Lombardi Says:

    Good find David.

  4. Andy Says:

    A problem for Boston is that they've lost a bunch of home games already. However they have also had a brutally difficult group of opponents so far.

  5. Kelly Says:

    Why would you limit your study to past Red Sox teams? The relevance of the 1903 Red Sox to the 2010 Red Sox is exactly zero. (If you're going to include irrelevant teams, then why not include the Braves and the UA team, at least that would improve your sample size 🙂

    I would say the probability of this team playing .577 ball from here on out is between 40% and 50%. Don't forget Dice-K is coming back, and Youkilis, Drew and Lester are all off to horrible starts (not to mention Ortiz, but there's no reason to think his season is going to improve markedly). Also 9 of their first 12 games were against really good teams; let's see how they look May 3 after a nine game stand with the Orioles and Blue Jays.

    I hate the Sox so I'd love to see them lost half their games and be eliminated from the playoffs by Labor Day. But it ain't gonna happen.

  6. DavidRF Says:

    Its just a fun study. Everyone knows the Red Sox are better than this "on paper" and have the means to improve themselves in midseason if necessary. It just interesting to see how other Red Sox teams have started over the years. Nothing "scientific" about it, in my opinion.

    Unfortunately, the tools in the frivolities section are not meant to handle 30 franchises * 100+ years of game log streaks. Too much data I guess. It can only do all teams within a single season. Going back year by year here are the worst starts by teams that eventually made the playoffs:

    2007-PHI: 3-10 (won division, but only 89W)
    2001-OAK: 3-10 (wild card, 102 Wins)
    2000-SFG: 4-9 (won division, 97 wins)
    1991-MIN: 4-9 (won division, 95 wins)

    ... and then you have to go back to 1981 when a couple of teams had bad starts, but they had the split season that year.

  7. DoubleDiamond Says:

    Looks like they'll need to bring in Neil Diamond to lead the crowd in "Sweet Caroline" for the rest of the home schedule. After all, they did win on Opening Night when he did this.