No.15: 2006 Red Sox (86-76)
The 2006 Red Sox were the only Red Sox team in a span of seven years to miss the postseason, as injuries ravaged the offense, and the pitching was derailed by under-performance.
The season got off to a normal enough start, as a historic David Ortiz season (54 home runs) and an All-Star performance from second baseman Mark Loretta (.285 average) powered the offense.
The pitching was headed by a resurgent Curt Schilling (15-7, 3.97 ERA) and superstar rookie closer Jonathan Papelbon (0.92 ERA), leading the Red Sox to first place by early August. Yet the Red Sox were hanging on by a thread, as poor seasons from Josh Beckett (5.01 ERA), Tim Wakefield (7-11, 4.63 ERA), and Matt Clement (6.61 ERA) led to the 25th ranked pitching staff and put an enormous strain on the offense.
Once stars Manny Ramirez and Jason Varitek went down with season-ending injuries, it was too much for even an Ortiz-led offense to overcome. A five-game sweep at the hand of the hated Yankees, cleverly referred to as another Boston Massacre, knocked the Red Sox out of first place, and a 23-35 finish to the season kept the Red Sox out of the playoffs for the first time since 2003.