Red Sox History: Ranking every squad of the 21st century

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 31: The Boston Red Sox 2018 World Series Championship banner hangs outside Fenway Park on October 31, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 31: The Boston Red Sox 2018 World Series Championship banner hangs outside Fenway Park on October 31, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images) /
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Boston Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez throws against the New York Yankees in the bottom of the first inning 28 May 2000 at Yankee Stadium in New York, NY. The Yankees and Red Sox are tied for first place in the American League East. (ELECTRONIC IMAGE) AFP PHOTO/Matt CAMPBELL (Photo by MATT CAMPBELL / AFP) (Photo credit should read MATT CAMPBELL/AFP via Getty Images)
Boston Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez throws against the New York Yankees in the bottom of the first inning 28 May 2000 at Yankee Stadium in New York, NY. The Yankees and Red Sox are tied for first place in the American League East. (ELECTRONIC IMAGE) AFP PHOTO/Matt CAMPBELL (Photo by MATT CAMPBELL / AFP) (Photo credit should read MATT CAMPBELL/AFP via Getty Images) /

No. 17: 2000 Red Sox: 85-77

Coming off a season where they won 94 games and won their first postseason series since 1986, Red Sox fans had more hope than they had had in over a decade. Sports Illustrated predicted that the Red Sox would win the World Series, declaring that the Yankees century was over. The Red Sox got their chance in 2000, with the Yankees winning just 87 games and finishing the season 3-15, but they couldn’t hold things together long enough to take the division.

Nomar Garciaparra had the best season of his career, hitting .372 with 21 home runs, and he was supported by the troublesome Carl Everett (300/.373/.587, 34 home runs). However, other than those two, only Trot Nixon had an above-average OPS, and the Red Sox finished just 22nd in the majors in runs.

The pitching was the best in the AL, mainly due to Pedro Martinez’s ridiculous 291 ERA+. Newly interested closer Derek Lowe saved 42 games, but like many pre-championship Red Sox teams, the Red Sox were held back by their lack of starting pitching. Besides Pedro, no other starter had an ERA under 4.78, sinking their chances of overtaking the division from the hated Yankees.