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Pitching the key for Red Sox so far

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  April 9, 2013 12:05 PM

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Sometimes baseball can be hard to figure out. But often times, it's really simple.

Why are the Red Sox 5-2 and enjoying a beautiful spring day off in Boston? It's all about the pitching:

American League ERA leaders
1. White Sox 2.41
2. Athletics 2.86
3. RED SOX 2.95

American League K/9 leaders
1. Royals 10.53
2. RED SOX 10.18

American League xFIP leaders
1. Royals 2.85
2. Rangers 3.05
3. RED SOX 3.26

American League starters ERA leaders
1. RED SOX 2.45
2. White Sox 2.72

American League starters K/9 leaders
1. RED SOX 10.49
2. Texas 10.26

American League starters xFIP leaders
1. Royals 2.81
2. RED SOX 3.03

(What is xFIP you ask? It's an interesting metric that measures the things a pitcher can control.)

Obviously seven games are a very small sample size and plenty can change in a game or two. But the bigger point is that this season, unlike last, the Sox have the makings of a good rotation. The 2012 Sox were 13-28 in games started by Aaron Cook, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Daniel Bard and Zach Stewart. None of those pitchers started this season in the major leagues.

Factor in Josh Beckett and that record was 18-39. In other words, 35 percent of the games started last season were by pitchers the Red Sox no longer have on their roster.

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