2013 Red Sox Will Be Remembered for Personality, Flair for Dramatic, But Team’s Consistency Equally Special

Dustin Pedroia, David OrtizThe 2013 Red Sox were likeable, gritty, resilient and very hairy. They were also extremely consistent, which is perhaps the most impressive aspect of their World Series run.

The Red Sox’ incredible rebound season wasn’t the product of squeaking by or putting together a few well-timed hot streaks. Sure, there was plenty of walk-off magic, some improbable comebacks and an occasional hiccup, but overall, Boston was a model of steadiness just one year after one of the most unstable efforts in franchise history.

The Red Sox went 18-8 to open the season, matching a club record for wins in April. While the Red Sox then jockeyed for position atop the AL East in May and again toward the end of July, the hot start really sent Boston down a path of success.

Nothing highlights the Red Sox’ consistency more than the absence of a four-game losing streak. For just the second time in 113 seasons, the Red Sox went the entire year without a losing streak longer than three games. Boston last accomplished the feat in 1903 — when the Boston Americans won their first ever championship — and the Red Sox were the first team since the 2005 Cardinals to go the whole season without losing more than three games in a row.

Only two of the Red Sox’ five three-game losing streaks in 2013 came after May, and only one occurred after the All-Star break. In other words, the Red Sox — a team with an uncanny ability to put even the most difficult losses behind them — became even better at turning the page as the season went on.

Below are other notes that reflect just how consistent the Red Sox were in 2013.

  • The Red Sox won an MLB-best 33 series in 2013. It was the second-most in club history behind the 1946 team’s 37 series victories. It matched the number of series victories compiled by the 2007, 1949 and 1948 squads.
  • The Red Sox were swept in a multi-game series* just once all season — a three-game sweep at the hands of the Rangers in Texas from May 3-May 5.

The one sweep marked the Red Sox’ fewest multi-game series sweeps since 1995.

*The Red Sox suffered a one-game make-up series loss to the Rays on July 29.

  • The Red Sox were in first place for an AL-best 158 days in 2013 — including sole possession of first place for 151 of those days.

The Red Sox’ 158 days atop the division marked their most days with a share of first place since the 2007 team held the division’s top spot for 173 days. The 2013 Red Sox spent 22 days in second place or tied for second, and spent just three days in third place from May 12-14.

The Red Sox didn’t spend one day in first place in 2012.

  • The Red Sox led the majors with a plus-197 run differential (853 runs scored, 656 runs allowed). It marked the second-best differential by a Red Sox team since 1950.
  • Only 19 of the Red Sox’ 65 losses in 2013 were by more than three runs. Of the Red Sox’ 65 losses, 36 (55 percent) came by two runs or fewer.

The Red Sox didn’t suffer a loss by more than three runs in a 33-game stretch from Aug. 17-Sept. 22.

  • May marked Boston’s only non-winning month of the season. The Red Sox went 15-15 in May.
  • The Red Sox put together an 11-game streak from Aug. 19-31 in which they didn’t allow more than three runs and eight hits. It was the longest such streak since the 1991 Blue Jays.

All of these facts and figures highlighting the Red Sox’ consistency does little to point out the intangible aspect of Boston’s run. The Red Sox were not only able to put losses and rare poor efforts behind them all season, but they did so without a hint of drama. The only noise surrounding the 2013 Red Sox involved on-field matters, which is a stark contrast from the drama-filled 2012 campaign. It really speaks to the group’s workmanlike approach.

The 2013 Red Sox will forever be remembered as the bearded bunch who stole Boston’s hearts through their unique personalities and flair for the dramatic. But we also just watched one of the most consistent teams in franchise history, and that — while less exciting than crazy facial hair or clutch grand slams — is really remarkable.

Have a question for Ricky Doyle? Send it to him via Twitter at @TheRickyDoyle or send it here.

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