Ten other Red Sox teams started 1-5, and you don't want to know how they finished

John Tomase
April 03, 2019 - 12:54 pm

Baseball is big on sample sizes, and six games isn't much of one, so make of this what you will, but the 1-5 start of the Red Sox does not bode well, if history is any guide.

Ten other times the Red Sox have started this poorly, and each season share one trait -- it did not end in the playoffs.

The closest the Red Sox have come to reaching the postseason after this poor a start came in 2011, when they opened 0-6 (en route to 2-10) before getting their act together and taking a half-game division lead and seemingly insurmountable nine-game wild card lead into September. These were the chicken-and-beer Red Sox of the burned-out Terry Francona and the one-foot-out-the-door Theo Epstein, however, and we know how that season ended -- in heartbreak after the wildest set of Game 162s in history.

That's the only club to sniff the playoffs, as the chart below illustrates. Of the other nine teams, only the 1996 and 1942 squads finished with winning records, the former falling three games shy of the wild card after a huge second half surge. The '96 Red Sox went 38-18 down the stretch and watched Roger Clemens record his second 20-strikeout game in the last win of his Red Sox career, but they had dug themselves too big a hole to overcome the Orioles for the wild card.

The second wild card that exists today obviously mitigates the impact of slow starts by creating another avenue to October, but the Red Sox would be wise to head the lessons of 2011 and beyond -- losses in April can exact a heavy price in September.

Year       Start       Record
2011       0-6         90-72
1945       0-6         71-83
1927       0-6         51-103
2019       1-5         ?????
2012       1-5         69-93
1996       1-5         85-77
1966       1-5         72-90
1942       1-5         79-75
1932       1-5         43-111
1928       1-5         57-96
1925       1-5         47-105

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