Wasn't this supposed to be the bullpen's problem?
The Red Sox's relievers actually have been fine to start the 2019 season, posting a 3.15 ERA over Boston's first five games.
The starting rotation? An area of perceived strength for the defending World Series champions? It's been awful. Like, historically awful.
After David Price got shellacked for four runs over six innings Monday night in Boston's 7-0 loss to the Oakland Athletics, the Red Sox's starting rotation has now allowed 26 earned runs over 21 innings.
Red Sox starters: 21 IP, 11.14 ERA, 11 HR allowed https://t.co/IM2vtjLtNL— Jason Mastrodonato (@JMastrodonato) April 2, 2019
Boston's starters also have allowed 11 home runs to date, which ties two clubs for the most ever by a starting staff through five games.
From @EliasSports, Red Sox starting pitchers have allowed 11 HR through the first 5 games of the season, tied with the 1955 Braves and 1978 Blue Jays for the most through 5 games in MLB history. pic.twitter.com/WS5jqABNbY— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 2, 2019
To put that number into perspective, four MLB teams have allowed 11 total runs or fewer so far this season.
Incredibly, Price's rough outing was the best by a Sox starter to date: Chris Sale and Rick Porcello both didn't make it past the third inning, while Eduardo Rodriguez and Nathan Eovaldi coughed up five runs and six runs, respectively.
Shockingly, this is the worst start by a #RedSox pitcher yet.— Tom Caron (@TomCaron) March 31, 2019
Game 1: Sale 3 IP 7 ER 3 HR
Game 2: Eovaldi 5 IP 6 ER 3 HR
Game 3: Rodriguez 4.1 IP 6 R/5 ER 1 HR
Game 4: Porcello: 2.2 IP 9 R/7ER 1 HR
But that's enough doom and gloom for one post. Shortly after Boston's loss in Oakland, Red Sox legend Pedro Martinez offered some much-needed perspective on Twitter.
I’m not worried or concerned about the @RedSox starting pitchers. They might not be performing to the best of their capacity but they’ll come around. This is just the beginning. Relax.— Pedro Martinez (@45PedroMartinez) April 2, 2019
We'd be wise to take Pedro at his word. The former ace imploded on Opening Day in 2002, then promptly pitched a shutout in his next outing and went on to finish second in the American League Cy Young award voting.
Martinez's message echoes what manager Alex Cora recently told reporters amid Boston's slow start: "Whoever is doubting us, check what happened last year."
Sale will be the first starter to get a shot at redemption Tuesday night in Oakland, and we'd imagine he's made a few adjustments.
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