Out of all of the pitchers who have toed the rubber for the Boston Red Sox, who are the top five pitchers ever?
When looking at the best starting pitchers in Boston Red Sox history, there are many things to take into consideration.
There are a lot of guys that have been sensational pitchers for the Red Sox and coming up with just the top five was extremely difficult.
Pitching has changed throughout the years, and the era that players pitched in is a huge difference maker. For example, Pedro Martinez‘s stats may be flawed due to the fact that he pitched in the steroid era and Cy Young‘s stats might be different because he pitched in the early 1900’s when guys threw more than 300 innings per year.
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The total amount of years spent with the Red Sox was also heavily taken into consideration, which left guys like Chris Sale off the list.
Because of this, you can’t just take a look at career statistics with the Red Sox and determine the best five pitchers that way. There are many factors that come into it and I really had to dive deep coming up with this list.
That being said, let’s take a look at the five best pitchers in Red Sox history. I know not all of you will agree with my decisions, but most lists should look something like this.
5. Jon Lester
Overall with the Red Sox, Lester was 110-63 with a 3.64 ERA and 1,386 strikeouts in 1,519 innings pitched. Lester was easily the Red Sox best pitcher for the Red Sox in the regular season from 2008-2014, other than a forgettable 2012 year (along with just about everyone else on the team that year).
Lester will forever be remembered for his dominance in the 2013 playoffs that led to his second World Series ring, but let’s not forget the impact he had on the 2007 World Series. Terry Francona gave the young left-hander the nod in Game One of the World Series against the Rockies, his first postseason start in his career.
However, as he would do for the rest of his career with the Red Sox, Lester delivered.
Lester pitched 5.2 innings, yielding just three hits and three walks while not allowing any runs. His performance set the tone on this series, and it led to a Red Sox sweep.
In the 2013 playoffs, the current Cub was remarkable. Lester went 4-1 with a 1.58 ERA, carrying the Red Sox pitching staff all postseason long. In the 2013 World Series, Lester gave up just one run in 15.1 innings of work.
The 3-time all-star with the Boston Red Sox is seventh in WAR for pitchers in team history, ninth in wins, and fourth in strikeouts. It’s a darn shame the Red Sox chose to sign Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval over Jon Lester in the 2014 offseason.