Crazy stat shows dominance of Red Sox starting pitching in first series

Crazy stat shows dominance of Red Sox starting pitching in first series originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Many experts predicted the Boston Red Sox to finish last in the American League East division this season, with starting pitching often cited as the reason why this team would struggle.

So it was a little surprising that the starting pitching was fantastic throughout the Red Sox's season-opening series against the Mariners in Seattle.

The Red Sox earned a series split with a 5-1 win over the Mariners on Sunday. Garrett Whitlock got the start for Boston and allowed just three hits and one earned run, while striking out eight with zero walks over five innings.

Just how impressive was the Red Sox's starting pitching in Seattle? Well, as Red Sox director of media relations J.P. Long pointed out on X, the group accomplished a feat seen just three previous times in team history.

Those were pretty good years for the Red Sox. They won the World Series in 1916 (with Babe Ruth) and 2018, and reached the American League Championship Series in 1999.

It wouldn't be surprising if the dominant starting pitching continues for the Red Sox, at least in the short term. Boston's next two opponents are the Oakland Athletics and Los Angeles Angels, who own records of 1-3 and 1-2, respectively. Neither the Athletics or Angels lineup is very potent. The Athletics have struck out 38 times, while Angels batters have struck out 35 times already.

The first real test for the Red Sox staff could come in their first series at Fenway Park against the Baltimore Orioles, which begins with the home opener April 9.

The Red Sox starting pitching might still end up being a weakness when all is said and done. There's a lack of depth at this position that could become a problem if a starter or two miss time due to injury. But the early results are incredibly encouraging.