Boston sports fans coming off their Stanley Cup hangovers are beginning to notice the Red Sox again, and what they are seeing is a team defying all expectations.
In fact, the Sox are on pace for one of the greatest single-season turnarounds in franchise history.
With exactly half the season (81 games) gone, the Red Sox entered last night's game against the Blue Jays with a record of 48-33. They then won again, and assuming they keep the same pace through the second half, they would wind up with a mark of 96-66—a 27-game improvement over the dreadful 69-93 season turned in by the last-place Boys of Bobby Valentine in 2012.
That dramatic of a win differential in back-to-back seasons has not occurred in Boston since the MLB schedule expanded to 162 games in 1961. The closest were the "Impossible Dream" Red Sox, who went from a 70-92, ninth-place finish in 1966 to, one year later, a 92-70 mark and the seventh game of the 1967 World Series.
As with all things baseball, numbers tell a big part of the story. Here are some that help define the Red Sox resurgence.
All stats are through Friday, June 28.