The Boston Red Sox are riding high on a nine-game winning streak
Remember back to the days when the Boston Red Sox were a cellar-dwelling team devoid of hope with a frustrated fan base eager to storm the castle to run the front office and half the roster out of town. Those were some wild times that we suffered through about a week ago but plenty has changed since then.
The Red Sox did nothing to erase the memory of a dismal 2020 from our memories when they opened the season by getting swept at home by the rebuilding Baltimore Orioles. “Here we go again,” sighed a dejected Fenway Faithful forced to watch their team sink to the bottom of the AL East for the second consecutive season.
The humiliating season-opening series must have been a wake-up call because this team immediately flipped a switch. Boston rallied by sweeping the defending AL champion Tampa Bay Rays and getting their revenge on the O’s by sweeping three games in Baltimore.
The first game of their series in Minnesota was unexpectedly postponed at the last minute but even that couldn’t stall the momentum of this runaway freight train. The Red Sox battled through snow showers to beat the Twins the next day and swept both games of this afternoon’s doubleheader to extend their winning streak to an MLB-high nine games.
The Red Sox are the first team in MLB history to begin a season with a losing streak of 3+ games and immediately follow it with a winning streak of 9+ games.
Boston’s nine-game winning streak is their longest since they won 10 in a row from July 2-12 in 2018. We all remember how that season ended – with a franchise-record 108 regular season wins and a World Series title.
While it’s far too soon to compare this team to the historic 2018 Red Sox, their hot start bodes well for their season outlook. The Red Sox have won nine of their first 12 games on nine previous occasions over their storied history. They won the AL pennant in four of those seasons and went on to capture a World Series title in two of them (1918, 2018).
We should be able to add a third title to that list considering there was no Fall Classic in 1904 when the New York Giants refused to face the Boston team that emerged from an American League that they viewed to be inferior. Also included is the heart-breaking 1978 season when the Red Sox won 99 games only to lose the pennant in a tie-breaking game against the Yankees.
In other words, when the Red Sox race out of the gates to start a season this hot, it usually ends with them being among the league’s elite.
The 9-3 Red Sox now sit perched at the top of the AL East with a lead of at least three games in the loss column over each of their division rivals. Boston has the most wins, best winning percentage (.750) and highest run differential (+24) in the American League. The Los Dodgers are the only major league team that can match or exceed them in any of those categories.
We still have a long road ahead in this 162-game schedule but fans have to be encouraged by what we’ve seen over these last nine games. Expectations are rapidly rising for a team that few were willing to credit as a potential playoff contender at the beginning of the season. They don’t hand out trophies for 12 great regular season games but don’t count this team out. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time the Red Sox have gone from worst to first.