How do the Red Sox look at their start to the 2019 baseball season and find any positives? Well, they can look at the 2002 Anaheim Angels.
J.D. Martinez has been the most consistent player for the Boston Red Sox going back to last year. But baseball, unlike basketball, can’t be won with only one player holding up his end of the bargain.
So the question now is, has any team in recent memory started out as bad as this version of the Red Sox and gone on to win the World Series? Surprisingly, the answer is yes. Just look at the 2002 Anaheim Angels.
That Angels team started 6-14. They went on to win 99 games and win the Wild Card because the Oakland Athletics that year won 103 games. So, knowing that there was a team in the same position that this year’s Red Sox team is in, how did they dig out of the hole?
The answer is simple and its the exact thing that is plaguing Boston. The 2002 Angels started pitching to their capabilities. In their first 20 games in which they went 6-14, they gave up an average of 5.5 runs per game. From that point through the end of May, the Angels gave up an average of 3.5 runs per game.
The 2019 Red Sox currently have given up 6.2 runs per game through their first 19 games.
I only went through the end of May because that is when the Angles season took off. They went 11-13 in April that year but 19-7 in May.
That year, four of the five Angels starters finished with an ERA under 4.00. Three of their five main bullpen pieces ended with an ERA under 3.00 and Troy Percival had 40 saves.
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The Red Sox rotation as a whole has been embarrassing, there is no sugar-coating it. But they have the talent to turn this season around much like that Angels team. David Price has thrown the ball well but his few mistakes have been deposited over the fence. Eduardo Rodriguez threw 6.2 innings last time out and got the win. Chris Sale just needs to find his command because his slider is still amazing and he can still hit 97 mph on the radar gun when he needs to hit it. Nathan Eovaldi is still the flamethrower he was last year but again needs to find his command. Rick Porcello has looked the worse in my opinion and is the biggest question mark moving forward but I still think he’ll figure it out.
The offense is struggling more than they did in the first week of the season and that could have something to do with the poor pitching. The hitters won’t admit it but I can see them pressing because they have been in a lot of games where before the 3rd inning is over they are down but 4 or 5 runs.
If the Red Sox pitching staff can get back to who they actually are then we will be looking at the 2002 Angels in 2019 but the east coast version with a red B on the hat instead of an A.