The Boston Red Sox are on the verge of winning their 106th career win – is this the best team Boston has ever had in their franchise history?
No one is questioning how good the Boston Red Sox have been this year. No one wins 105 games in a season and is considered by any to be just average or even the insulting, good. The Red Sox have been great this season.
They’ve had the added benefit of having two players who could both win the MVP this season. One of those is potentially able to get the Triple Crown, something that has not been done by a player in Boston since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967.
The 105 games the Red Sox have won so far this season ties a franchise record with the 1912 team that went 105 – 47 and won their second World Series title. The Red Sox have some opportunities in order to be considered a better team than the team that won it all back in 1912. Not winning the World Series in 2018 would mean that this team didn’t get the job done.
You don’t win 105 games by being a slouch. There is no way they win all these games without the likes of J.D. Martinez and Mookie Betts. Both are fighting for potential MVP honors. Betts is hitting .343 with 30 home runs, 77 RBI, and 28 steals while Martinez is hitting .329 with 41 home runs, 124 RBI, and six steals. Hard to argue with those numbers. There are many teams in the league without a single player putting up those numbers. The Sox have two.
In 1912, the Sox were led by Tris Speaker who hit . 383 with 10 homers, 90 RBI, and 52 steals to win the MVP. Smoky Joe Wood led the league with 34 wins and a 1.91 ERA. Wood also tallied 258 strike outs in 334 innings.
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Further comparison between 1912 & 2018
Four of the Red Sox in 1912 were hitting over .280 and three of those were hitting above the .300 line. Compare that to the 2018 Red Sox. Four players are hitting over .280 and only two are above .300 but they are also hitting above .325. Home runs and runs knocked in weren’t as common in the game in 1912. Duffy Lewis had 109 RBI that season and didn’t lead the league, missing that mark by 21.
Pitching was also a completely different story. Back in the day, there were no guys going only five or six innings before bringing in a closer. Pitchers went the whole way and occasionally had a four or five man rotation. Now a days, pitchers can get away with going five or six innings, if they even make it that far because of deeper bullpens. A deep bullpen is something that is hurting the 2018 Red Sox. The 1912 Sox had three 20-game winners. The 2018 team by comparison have two pitchers with 15 or more in David Price and Rick Porcello.
Were the pitchers better in 1912? The answer is yes. While hitters were not doing as much damage, you have to take into consideration multiple statistics, not just total wins by pitcher. Only one pitcher had an ERA above 3.00. Wood, who led the team in every major pitching category also had a 1.91 ERA. Three of the other starters had ERAs under 3.00. The 2018 Red Sox are not scaring anyone in the pitching category outside of Chris Sale who has a 2.00 ERA. No other starter has an ERA under 3.50.
There is a lot going on for the 2018 Red Sox in the offensive categories, not so much for the pitching. They have arguably the best closer in the game but their bullpen leaves a lot to be desired.
106 years have passed since the Sox won their second World Series title. Will they be able to get their first championship since 2013? We shall see. Manager Alex Cora has done a fantastic job with the team and the next achievement for the current squad will be to break the record that has stood for 106 years by getting win number 106.