The Boston Red Sox haven't been very good this year — correction: the Boston Red Sox, with the exception of their starting pitchers, haven't been very good this year.

Despite the Red Sox being tied for last place in the AL East after losing eight of their last 13 games, the Red Sox's starting pitching staff has been stellar and even historic.

“The 1.72 ERA by the Boston Red Sox’s starting rotation is the franchise's lowest through 21 games since 1920, and the second-lowest by any team since 2000, according to the Elias Sports Bureau,” MLB insider Bob Nightengale tweeted earlier today.

Brayan Bello has started the most games of any Red Sox pitcher so far this season with five, and he also has the highest ERA of any of the regular starters with 3.04. The rest of the rotation has been even better to this point; Tanner Houck has a 1.35 ERA and 28 strikeouts in 26.2 innings pitched, while Nick Pivetta and Kutter Crawford each have sub-1.00 ERAs over multiple starts.

Why aren't the Red Sox good anymore?

Boston Red Sox players Nick Pivetta and Ceddanne Rafaela

The Boston Red Sox have been the team of the 2000s. After suffering from the “Curse of the Bambino” and going without a World Series title for more than 80 years, the Sox lifted the curse and the Commissioner's Trophy in 2004, their first championship since 1918. Since the famed 2004 championship run, which included overcoming a 3-0 series deficit against the rival New York Yankees, the Red Sox have won three more World Series in 2007, 2013, and 2018.

The Red Sox's four World Series wins in the 2000s are the most of any MLB club, with only the San Francisco Giants (3), Houston Astros (2), St. Louis Cardinals (2), and Yankees (2) being able to capture more than one in that time period.

Since that 2018 title, however, the Sox have fallen on relatively hard times. The team's highest regular-season win total in that time frame is 92, and the Sox have missed the playoffs four of the last five years. Additionally, Boston, which won three consecutive AL East titles from 2016 to 2018, have not won their division since 2018 and have only finished higher than third once since then.

Near the end of a shockingly disappointing 2019 season in which the team won 84 games and missed the playoffs a year after winning the World Series, the Red Sox fired Dave Dombrowski, the president of baseball operations, and hired Chaim Bloom to replace him. Bloom's tenure ended in 2023, less than four years after his hiring. With Bloom at the helm, the Sox reached the playoffs once, where they defeated the Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays in the AL Wild Card and ALDS, respectively, before losing in the ALCS to the Houston Astros in six games.

Many Red Sox fans have blamed the team's ownership for its downfall over the last five years. The February 2020 trade of Mookie Betts, the Red Sox's star player, was widely seen as an unwise cost-cutting move after the team had spent big money the previous few seasons in pursuit of a World Series. Betts signed a 12-year, $365 million contract with the Dodgers in 2020 and has been named an All-Star and Silver Slugger Award winner three times each since being traded to Los Angeles.

The Red Sox are set to play the second leg of their three-game weekend road series against the Pittsburgh Pirates today before finishing the series tomorrow afternoon.