Boston Red Sox: Top 5 starting pitchers in franchise history

Jul 28, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Hall of Fame player Pedro Martinez waves to the crowd during his number retirement ceremony before the game between the Chicago White Sox and the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 28, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Hall of Fame player Pedro Martinez waves to the crowd during his number retirement ceremony before the game between the Chicago White Sox and the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jul 20, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Jon Lester (31) throws a pitch against the Kansas City Royals in the first inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 20, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Jon Lester (31) throws a pitch against the Kansas City Royals in the first inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports /

Honorable Mentions

Before we get to our top five, let’s take a look at a handful of pitchers that have unquestionably had a tremendous impact on the franchise, but didn’t quite make the cut.

Curt Schilling: His stint in Boston came at the tail end of a Hall of Fame caliber career, the last few years of which were below his lofty standards. He’s worth mentioning based solely on his outstanding 2004 season, when he won 21 games, finished second in Cy Young voting and delivered one of the all-time most memorable postseason performances.

Jon Lester: Sits ninth in both career wins and fWAR in Red Sox history. Lester made three All-star appearances during his eight seasons in Boston, but never finished higher than fourth in Cy Young voting. He put up solid, but not spectacular, numbers during the regular season, but shined on the postseason stage.

Tim Wakefield: The ageless knuckleball pitcher gets credit for longevity. While his career 4.43 ERA won’t dazzle anyone, he is the franchise leader in innings pitched and third with 186 wins.

Smoky Joe Wood: Unlike any pitcher you’ll see these days, routinely making appearances out of the bullpen between starts. In 1912 he made 43 appearances, including 38 starts, totaling an absurd 344 innings. He led the league with 34 wins, 35 complete games and ten shutouts. He won 117 games with the Red Sox with a 1.99 ERA.

Dennis Eckersley: The Hall of Famer’s path to Cooperstown was paved mostly by his years as a dominant reliever for the Oakland A’s, but before that he had some outstanding seasons in the Red Sox rotation.