Even in recent seasons of disappointment, the numbers have always been kind to the Boston Red Sox. A year ago, the Red Sox were 59-65 and 13 games out of the AL East lead, and yet their plus-28 run differential signified a playoff-caliber team.
In 2013, the numbers have dovetailed with tangible success, and the Red Sox have sustained one of the best records in baseball nearly the entire season. Indeed, the numbers will almost always depict a better representation of a team's ability than the standings. For those who looked past last year's grisly 69-93 shell, Boston's renaissance is not particularly surprising.
But with the Red Sox currently slumping into the season's final month, the narrative will have to change once again. The question is now whether this year's team is simply a reincarnation of previous letdowns, or one that can transcend another September catastrophe.
Once again, digging into the numbers may help determine what lies ahead. With that in mind, here are 10 numbers that best encompass the Red Sox's season to date and what they might mean down the stretch.
*All stats courtesy Fangraphs.com.