Red Sox History: Ranking every squad of the 21st century
No. 13: 2010 Red Sox: (89-70)
This Red Sox team may have been Terry Francona’s finest work, as he was able to piece together an 89 win season despite key injuries to many 2009 standouts. The first blow was when Jacoby Ellsbury collided with third baseman Adrian Beltre and fractured four ribs. Ellsbury would go on to play just twelve more games the rest of the season.
Still, the Red Sox were able to stay competitive through July, as newcomer Beltre (.321/.365/.553) teamed with the resurgent David Ortiz (32 HRs, 102 RBIs) and Victor Martinez (.302 average) to form the second-best offense in baseball.
The pitching was led by Clay Buchholz (2.33 ERA) and Jon Lester (19-9, 3.25 ERA, 225 strikeouts), and Daniel Bard posted a sub-2.00 ERA out of the bullpen to offset a poor Jonathan Papelbon season (3.90 ERA, eight blown saves).
It looked like the Red Sox would be able to overcome the injury to Ellsbury, but then MVP candidate Dustin Pedroia broke his foot in June, and All-Star Kevin Youkilis tore a muscle in his thumb in August. This all culminated in a 40-41 record after July 4 that kept the Red Sox home in October for the first time since 2006.