You could easily argue that Wednesday’s was the most entertaining game of the new Red Sox season. Facing, arguably, the best pitcher in the game, Jacob deGrom, the Red Sox none the less came away with a 1-0 win for a sweep of the two-game series against the Mets.
The Red Sox are now 265-180 against the opposing league for a .595 win percentage that’s the best for all-time in baseball’s Interleague action. The Sox improved to 64-57 in one-run games against a National League team. Wednesday’s was just their sixth 1-0 win, the first since April, 2019.
Offense held back, Sox pitching steps up
The Red Sox, who we just knew would hit the cover off the ball but whose pitching was the big worry, have set a new franchise record: three straight wins with five or fewer hits in each. It is, in fact, the first time Boston has played in consecutive wins with five or fewer hits since May 19-20, 2008.
The Red Sox join the Giants (April 4-10) who also recorded three similar wins this season. The last team with such a feat before that was the 2018 Brewers. Wednesday’s Red Sox win made theirs just the 29th streak of three such games since at least 1901.
In Major League history just one team has had more consecutive wins while recording five or fewer hits, but you have wind the clock back to 1921 to find them. That’s when the Brooklyn Robbins, the forerunners of the Dodgers, had four consecutive wins with five or fewer hits behind complete games from the likes of Jeff Pfeffer, Dutch Ruether, and Hall of Famer Burleigh Grimes, plus a combined effort started by Leon Cadore.
The Red Sox could tie that MLB record with a similar win Thursday as they open a new series in Texas against the Rangers.
Sox Solid Pitching
It’s not as though the Sox offense has sputtered. Boston batters opened the day tops in baseball overall with a .267 batting average and .443 slugging percentage. While they’re at average this season for home runs (27) and well below average for walks (69), the Red Sox lead the world right now in hits (222), doubles (59) and with an impressive .335 wOBA.
But it’s Red Sox pitching that has been the pleasant surprise, with starters delivering at least 5.0 IP in 19 of 25 games. That included a strong effort Wednesday by Nick Pivetta, who despite some shakiness at the outset, settled in and earned a win.
Whitlock, who has been stellar in relief, has not allowed a run in 13.1 IP over his first six career MLB appearances, the longest scoreless streak by a Boston pitcher to begin a career since Austin Maddox in 2017 (16.1 IP). Whitlock’s six straight games with no runs and at least one strikeout are the most of any Sox reliever to start an MLB career since Larry Anderson in 1990 (9 games).