Martin Perez

Incredible stat shows how historically awful Red Sox starting pitching has been

Incredible stat shows how historically awful Red Sox starting pitching has been

When the 2019 MLB season started, the defending World Series champion Red Sox boasted an impressive rotation.

Perennial Cy Young contender Chris Sale. Former Cy Young winners David Price and Rick Porcello. World Series hero Nathan Eovaldi. Eduardo Rodriguez, who would go on to win 19 games.

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But the 2020 Sox rotation is a far cry from that collection of talent. 

Instead, with Sale sidelined with Tommy John surgery, Price and Porcello on different teams, and Rodriguez out for the season with myocarditis, the Sox have been forced to rely on a flotsam and jetsam rotation that has been exposed as not MLB-worthy.

Through 11 games, the Red Sox have already used seven starting pitchers, and they've combined to allow a whopping 32 earned runs in 42.2 innings pitched, often putting the Sox in early deficits they've been unable to overcome. It all adds up to a 6.75 ERA, which isn't just bad; it's actually on pace to be the worst starting rotation in the last 120 years, according to Boston Sports Info.

Only Nathan Eovaldi with a 3.94 ERA in three starts and Austin Brice, who pitched one scoreless inning in his only start of the season as an opener, have ERAs below 5.00, while Josh Osich, Ryan Weber, Matt Hall and Zack Godley all have ERAs of 9-plus.

Pitcher ERA as starter
Austin Brice 0.00
Nathan Eovaldi 3.94
Martin Perez 5.06
Josh Osich 9.00
Matt Hall 10.13
Ryan Weber 11.57
Zack Godley 13.50

And with the supposedly strong Boston offense underachieving through 11 games, it's no wonder the team is off to a horrific 3-8 start, the 28th best record out of 30 MLB teams. If that starting pitching doesn't turn around — and turn around quickly — the Red Sox are in danger of digging a hole that will be too deep to climb out of in a shortened 60-game season.

10 things I hate about the Red Sox through 10 games

10 things I hate about the Red Sox through 10 games

The Red Sox wanted to restore a bit of joy to our lives, but it looks like we'll have to settle for being mad about something other than the state of the world, which is its own form of escapism, I suppose.

Better than nothing.

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Anyway, 10 games into the season, they haven't given us much to cheer, but they've provided plenty of reason to grimace.

From a mix of bad starting pitching to being forced to use openers, from seeing the team's vaunted offense not deliver out of the starting gates to the continuing slog of marathon games, there's no shortage of issues that the Sox are dealing with a sixth of the way through their schedule.

Here are 10 of the worst aspects of the Red Sox season through 10 games.

We knew the Red Sox pitching staff would be bad, but this is a joke

We knew the Red Sox pitching staff would be bad, but this is a joke

The Red Sox pitching is a disaster, so 10 days ago they signed Zack Godley. He had a 5.97 ERA last year, but hey, they're desperate.

Four days later, they acquired right-hander Dylan Covey from the Rays. He arrived with a lifetime record of 6-29 and an ERA of 6.54, but it's not like one Zack Godley could cure them of their aforementioned desperation. Let's throw some volume at this problem.

Four days after that, they added left-hander Stephen Gonsalves off waivers from the Mets. This will come as a shock, but his ERA last year was 6.57. Desperation, etc ...

On Sunday, they went trawling once again and hauled up Robert Stock. He throws 100 mph and posted an ERA of 10.13 last year. Have we mentioned how desperate they are yet?

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That quartet joined a pile of arms you've never heard of in what might already be the worst top-to-bottom Red Sox pitching staff of our lifetimes.

I understand that Chaim Bloom was not allowed to spend money this winter and that the team he ultimately crafts in his image won't look anything like this one, but in the meantime, this is the best they could do? It feels like we're being trolled, one terrible signee at a time.

Over the weekend, the Red Sox were embarrassed by the woeful Baltimore Orioles, losers of over 220 games since 2018. After a 13-2 annihilation on opening night to start things right, they dropped decisions of 7-2 and 7-4 to a team that not only batted Jose Iglesias third, but didn't pay a price for it when he went 7 for 13.

The rotation we all knew would be a problem that couldn't get out of its own way. Martin Perez allowed five runs in five innings on Saturday, while Ryan Weber followed up with six runs in 3.2 innings on Sunday. That's called giving your team no chance, and don't worry, there's more where that came from, because they open a home-and-home series with the Mets on Monday night that will feature two openers.

Left-hander Josh Osich, Bloom's very first signing, will take the ball for an inning or two on Monday, followed by Matt Hall on Tuesday. Osich's lifetime ERA of 4.86 is positively Gibson-ian on this staff, while Hall's 9.48 fits like a rancid, festering glove.

A year ago, Chris Sale fronted the rotation, followed by former Cy Young Award winners David Price and Rick Porcello. Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez was on his way to 19 victories, and right-hander Nathan Eovaldi was recovering from an elbow procedure the team hoped would unlock his 100 mph fastball in time to make an impact on the playoff race.

Now Eovaldi is their only sure thing, because E-Rod has been sidelined by a heart condition following his bout with COVID-19, Sale is done until maybe 2022 following Tommy John surgery, Price is sitting out the season with the Dodgers, and Porcello is coming off a Mets debut that saw him allow six runs in two innings, so at least they got one thing right.

The names in support do not inspire confidence. Yoan Aybar. Austin Brice. Kyle Hart. Chris Mazza. Jeffrey Springs. Phillips Valdez. These are some possible reinforcements on one of baseball's most expensive rosters. If you're wondering why Dave Dombrowski lost his job, there's your answer.

The Red Sox will undoubtedly continue sorting through the 6.00 ERA bin like old cassettes at Good Vibrations. Maybe they'll find someone usable. More likely, we'll just keep watching this parade of the well-intentioned but overmatched.

Are three games enough to declare a season a lost cause? It sure felt that way over the weekend, because no matter how many teams are allowed into the playoffs, it won't be enough to justify watching this pitching staff in October.