How long can he go?
Clay Buchholz won again last night to stretch his season opening winning streak to 5 games. He still has a ways to go to top Roger Clemens’ Red Sox record of 14 straight wins to start the 1986 season. The top 9 consecutive win streaks to start the season for the Red Sox are:
- Roger Clemens 14 1986
- Roger Moret 10 1973
- Josh Beckett 9 2007
- Sonny Siebert 9 1971
- Dave Ferriss 9 1946
- Dice K 8 2008
- Dave Ferris 8 1945
- Lefty Grove 8 1938
- Babe Ruth 8 1917
Buchholz has a ways to go to break into this group. His next few starts, if he starts every fifth day, will be @ Blue Jays (4/30), @ Rangers 5/5, Blue Jays 5/10, @ Rays 5/15, @ White Sox 5/20. Buchholz, over his career, is about a half run better at home (3.45 ERA) then on the road (4.07 ERA). With most of his next few starts on the road, I imagine it will be hard for him to break into the 8 win group.
This got me thinking. What’s the story with Dave “Boo” Ferriss. It turns out his star was bright, but short.
The Sox signed him in June 1942. He played in their Class B Piedmont League in Greensboro, NC and then returned to college. I guess you could do that back in the day.
While in his final year at Mississippi State, he was drafted into the Army and served in Texas for the duration of the war. He left the service early because of asthma, something he suffered with for most of his life. He made his debut with the Sox on April 29, 1945 against the Philadelphia Athletics winning 2-0 throwing a complete game five hit shutout. His next start was just as impressive. He tossed another complete game shutout, stretching his scoreless inning streak to 18. He finally gave up a run in the fifth inning of his third start. Despite giving up two runs, he still notched the win. At that the time, his 22 1/3 scoreless innings pitched to start a career was a record.
He finished the 1945 season 21-10 with a 2.96 ERA. In 1946, he won his first 9 starts and ended the season with a 25-6 record with a 3.25 ERA. He won game three of the 1946 World Series, tossing a six hit shutout. He started game seven and left in the fifth with the Sox trailing 3-1. The Sox would tie it up in the eighth and take Ferriss off the hook only to see Enos Slaughter in the bottom of the eighth do his crazy mad dash from first to home to give the Cardinals the lead and eventually the win.
Ferriss suffered a shoulder injury in the middle of the 1947 season and was never the same, out of baseball by 1950. He was inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2002.