Yes, it's true: this is the worst start to a season by a Red Sox rotation. Ever.
After another mediocre outing from erstwhile ace Chris Sale that had the left-hander apologizing for embarrassing his family and teammates in an 8-0 loss to New York on Tuesday, the Red Sox found themselves holding a dubious distinction.
Per the Elias Sports Bureau, no Red Sox rotation has ever posted a higher ERA through 18 games than this one. The 7.18 mark tops the 1931 team, which posted a 6.96 ERA en route to a 62-90 finish, 45 games behind the AL-champion A's.
If you've heard of any of the pitchers on that team, you're a bigger fan than most of us. Nine pitchers made starts in 1931, led by Somerville High's Danny McFayden (16-12, 4.02), Jack Russell (10-18, 5.16), Wilcy Moore (11-13, 3.88), and Milt Gaston (2-13, 4.46).
Those pitchers combined to make one All-Star team over 49 combined seasons. This Red Sox rotation features two Cy Young Award winners (Rick Porcello, David Price), one perennial Cy Young candidate (Sale), and the 2018 postseason hero (Nathan Eovaldi).
They've won two Cy Youngs, finished in the top six 10 other times, made 12 All-Star teams, and contributed to a championship. Their pedigree is just a *little* better than their 1931 brethren, and yet they find themselves with just two wins (1 each for Eduardo Rodriguez and Price) and three quality starts (aforementioned duo and Sale).
Sale has only topped four strikeouts once in four starts, while Eovaldi has yet to pitch more than five innings, and Porcello has yet to reach five innings.
Price and E-Rod are coming off of good starts, and Sale finally pumped his velocity back up to 97 mph on Tuesday, so perhaps the tide is starting to turn, but for now, it's no stretch to label this rotation historically awful.
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