But for now, after four long and painful games, it's still too early to hit the panic button.
Of course, you heard that last Friday, again on Saturday, once more on Sunday and all day on Monday. Frankly, it's becoming a tired refrain. Now, after an 0-4 start that has people tossing around the Elias Sports Bureau's factoid that no team to start 0-4 has ever gone on to win the World Series, and with the Orioles off to a 4-0 start and the Yankees looking good, it's enough to make even the most patient fans start to pull their hair out.
But, again, four games does not a season make, both good and bad. Remember when the '05 Orioles got off to a hot start with a 30-16 record? They led the Yankees and Blue Jays by 4 1/2 games in late May, but they finished that season 21 games out of first place.
Just as you may not want to pencil in Buck Showalter's squad for a deep October run, you don't want to write off Terry Francona's crew when the team is still playing in frigid weather in early April.
And while no team has ever won it all after starting 0-4, a scout told ESPN this week that "if there's a team that could pull it off, it might be them."
So there's that. There's also this.
|Team||Number of losing streaks of at least four games|
|2010 San Francisco Giants||3 (including a seven-game streak)|
|2009 New York Yankees||2|
|2008 Philadelphia Phillies||3|
|2007 Boston Red Sox||3|
|2006 St. Louis Cardinals||4 (including two eight-game streaks and a seven-game streak)|
|2005 Chicago White Sox||2 (including a seven-game streak)|
|2004 Boston Red Sox||3|
|2003 Florida Marlins||3|
|2002 Anaheim Angels||4 (started season with a 6-14 record)|
|2001 Arizona Diamondbacks||4|
Every single one of those teams hit extended rough patches; every single one of those teams also happened to have won the World Series. Take a look at Red Sox playoff teams since '04, as well.
|Year||Number of losing streaks of at least four games|
The fact that the Red Sox' skid is happening right out of the gates is a bit odd, but a four-game losing streak is hardly reason enough to drop all those high expectations that the fans, players and media had for this team just a week ago. That particular point is only strengthened by the fact that, like that scout said, this team seems capable of rattling off 10 wins in a span of 12 games on a fairly regular basis.
Add in that the bats are remarkably cold (just three hitters are hitting better than .188) and the pitching staff probably won't rank 30th out of 30 with an 8.16 ERA for very long, and you know with a good degree of confidence that things will turn around.
Of course, if they could get on that sooner rather than later, they just might help bring heart rates all around New England back to normal, safer levels.