When John Lackey (above) takes the mound at Minute Maid Park in Houston against the last-place Astros, he and his teammates have a chance to do something few Red Sox teams have ever accomplished. The Sox left Boston for Houston Sunday night having just won their 68th game of the season, tops in the major leagues (they trail the Pirates by percentage points for best winning percentage) on the strength of Felix Dubront's eighth win of the year, a 4-0 blanking of the Diamondbacks.
Those 68 Red Sox wins through 113 games puts an organization that endured last year’s last-place debacle on the cusp of a very significant milestone. Possibly starting with Lackey's assignment in his home state, the next win for John Farrell’s team will match the entire 162-game output of Bobby Valentine's 2012 squad (69 wins) in two fewer months! That’s not a typo, it's a fact.
What’s even more amazing is that the Sox have actually reached the previous season’s win total quicker before. A few times the bar was set so low that it was easy to one-up the earlier competition, like when the 1933 reached the 1932 team’s total with their 43rd win in just 94 games. However others, like the 1946 Ted Williams World Series team, had more of a challenge, needing just 104 games to rack up the 71 wins of the 1945 war-ravaged roster. And on Aug. 19 during Fenway Park’s inaugural season, those Sox matched 1911’s 78 wins in the 114th game of the season.
Here's a look at the Red Sox teams that tied the previous season’s victory total in the fewest number of games (strike-shortened seasons not included). And if you're curious about the major league teams wit hthe biggest jump in winning percentage from one year to the next, take a look here: http://mcubed.net/mlb/bwimp.shtml
Thanks to world-class mathlete and multiple-time world pinball champion, Bowen Kerins, for suggesting the concept. If you have an idea you want fleshed out here, send me a tweet @SabinoSports.
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He has also authored or made contributions to many books, including the Sports Illustrateds 100 Fenway: A Fascinating First Century.
Now living in Marblehead, hes focusing his attention on the Boston sports scene, specifically delving into the numbers affecting the Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics and Bruins, with the goal of informing and entertaining real fans. You can follow him on Twitter at @SabinoSports.