A Red Sox slideshow of historic team collapses

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 15: Mike Leake
BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 15: Mike Leake /
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Red Sox
NEW YORK – JULY 17: Former New York Yankee Bucky Dent warms up before the teams 64th Old-Timer’s Day before the MLB game against the Tampa Bay Rays on July 17, 2010 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

1978 and Bucky

In 1978 at the end of August, the Red Sox had a comfortable seven game lead in the American League. Then came September. The Yankees got hot and the Red Sox? One pathetic stretch saw the Sox go 1-9 and included a four game sweep by the Yankees at Fenway Park. If anything could go wrong, it did.

This Red Sox team was loaded with name talent. Offensively they finished second in the AL in home runs – just one behind the Brewers. The Sox were second in run production, first in ISO, posted a .336 OBP, fourth in average with .267 and had the offensive fire power to cover shoddy pitching.

Did I say shoddy?  Not the 1978 team. Dennis Eckersley won 20 games, Mike Torrez added 16 more and even an aging Luis Tiant tossed in 13 wins.  The Red Sox staff was ranked third in the AL. In the September failings, they were second in the AL., but the offense faded to 11th.

The Red Sox managed to regroup and finish off the season with eight straight wins to set up a one game playoff with the New York Yankees. Just say Bucky Dent and a 5-4 loss.