One of the biggest surprises of the 2021 MLB season has been the excellent performance of the Boston Red Sox pitching staff.
Boston's offensive prowess was expected as the team's lineup boasts some very talented hitters, most notably J.D. Martinez, Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers.
The pitching staff did not have the same high expectations, but it has played an important role in the team's nine-game win streak.
The Red Sox have a team ERA of 3.67 through 12 games, which ranks No. 6 among the 15 American League teams. From a historical perspective, it bodes pretty well for Boston's chances of being a legit contender in 2021.
How so? Check out this tweet from the Red Sox' official stats account on Twitter:
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of this stat is the Red Sox are pitching so well in 2021 despite the lack of a true ace in the rotation. That said, you could argue Eduardo Rodriguez is pretty close to an ace, and he's off to a fantastic start with a 2-0 record, a 3.60 ERA and 12 strikeouts over 10 innings.
While it's understandable to be excited over the early success of Red Sox pitchers, it's a very long season and we need to see this staff perform at -- or near -- this level on a consistent basis before getting too optimistic about playoff baseball returning to Fenway Park.