List of Boston Red Sox Opening Day starting pitchers

Fenway Park, Boston's home ballpark since 1912

The Boston Red Sox are a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise based in Boston, Massachusetts. They have played in the American League since it was founded in 1901, and the American League East since divisions were introduced in 1969. The first game of each baseball season for a team is played on Opening Day, for which being named the starting pitcher is an honor. That honor is often given to the player who is expected to lead the pitching staff that season, although there are various strategic reasons why a team's best pitcher might not start on Opening Day.

Records

Including the team's first 2023 game, the team has had 123 Opening Days. In those Opening Day games:

Results by decade

Nathan Eovaldi was the Red Sox' starting pitcher for Opening Day in 2020, 2021, and 2022.
Decade Team
W–L–T
Pitchers'
W–L (ND)
New starters†
1900s‡ 4–5 4–5 4 (Kellum, Young, Winter, Arellanes)
1910s 5–4–1 5–4 (1) 6 (Cicotte, Wood, Collins, Shore, Ruth, Mays)
1920s 3–7 3–6 (1) 8 (Russell, Jones, Quinn, Ehmke, Ferguson, Harriss, Harriss, Ruffing)
1930s 5–5 4–4 (2) 6 (Moore, Andrews, Rhodes, Ferrell, Bagby, Grove)
1940s 6–4 4–4 (2) 6 (Wilson, Newsome, Hughson, Terry, Cecil, Dobson)
1950s 5–5 4–4 (2) 4 (Parnell, Wight, Sullivan, Brewer)
1960s 5–5 3–4 (3) 6 (Sturdivant, Monbouquette, Schwall, Wilson, Lonborg, Ellsworth)
1970s 6–4 5–2 (3) 7 (Peters, Culp, Pattin, Tiant, Jenkins, Torrez, Eckersley)
1980s 2–8 2–3 (5) 4 (Hurst, Boyd, Stanley, Clemens)
1990s 8–2 6–2 (2) 3 (Sele, Gordon, Martinez)
2000s 4–6 3–3 (4) 4 (Wells, Schilling, Matsuzaka, Beckett)
2010s 5–5 4–2 (4) 5 (Lester, Buchholz, Price, Porcello, Sale)
2020s 1–3 1–2 (1) 2 (Eovaldi, Kluber)
TOTALS 59–63–1 48–45 (30) 65

‡ 1900s spans nine seasons, as 1901 was the team's first season.
† Number (and names) of pitchers making their first Opening Day start for the Red Sox franchise.

Pitchers

Cy Young was Boston's Opening Day starting pitcher six times between 1902 and 1908.

Key

Season Each year is linked to an article about that particular Red Sox season.
W Win
L Loss
T Tie
ND (X) No decision by starting pitcher; (X) indicates game outcome for Red Sox
Pitcher (#) Number of Opening Day starts for the Red Sox, if more than one
* Team advanced to the post-season
** American League (AL) Champions
*** World Series Champions

List

George Winter pitched on Opening Day for the Boston Americans in 1903.
Smoky Joe Wood was the Opening Day starter three times, 1911–1913.
Babe Ruth started on Opening Day in 1916, 1917, and 1918.
In 1923, 1924, and 1926, Howard Ehmke started on Opening Day for the Red Sox.
Mel Parnell started four Opening Day games for the Red Sox, all in the 1950s.
Dennis Eckersley made five consecutive Opening Day starts for Boston, 1979–1983.
Roger Clemens was Boston's Opening Day starting pitcher eight times between 1988 and 1996.
From 1998 through 2004, Pedro Martínez was Boston's Opening Day starting pitcher.
Jon Lester was Opening Day starting pitcher for Boston from 2011 through 2014.
Season Pitcher W/L Opponent Location Ref(s)
1901 Win Kellum L Baltimore Orioles Oriole Park
1902 Cy Young W Baltimore Orioles Huntington Avenue Grounds
1903*** George Winter W Philadelphia Athletics Huntington Avenue Grounds
1904** Cy Young (2) L New York Highlanders Hilltop Park
1905 Cy Young (3) L Philadelphia Athletics Columbia Park
1906 Cy Young (4) L New York Highlanders Hilltop Park
1907 Cy Young (5) W Philadelphia Athletics Columbia Park
1908 Cy Young (6) W Washington Senators Huntington Avenue Grounds
1909 Frank Arellanes L Philadelphia Athletics Shibe Park
1910 Eddie Cicotte ND (T) New York Highlanders Hilltop Park
1911 Joe Wood L Washington Senators Griffith Stadium
1912*** Joe Wood (2) W New York Highlanders Hilltop Park
1913 Joe Wood (3) L Philadelphia Athletics Fenway Park
1914 Ray Collins L Washington Senators Fenway Park
1915*** Ernie Shore L Philadelphia Athletics Shibe Park
1916*** Babe Ruth W Philadelphia Athletics Fenway Park
1917 Babe Ruth (2) W New York Yankees Polo Grounds
1918*** Babe Ruth (3) W Philadelphia Athletics Fenway Park
1919 Carl Mays W New York Yankees Polo Grounds
1920 Allen Russell W Washington Senators Fenway Park
1921 Sam Jones W Washington Senators Griffith Stadium
1922 Jack Quinn L Philadelphia Athletics Fenway Park
1923 Howard Ehmke L New York Yankees Yankee Stadium
1924 Howard Ehmke (2) L New York Yankees Fenway Park
1925 Alex Ferguson ND (L) Philadelphia Athletics Fenway Park
1926 Howard Ehmke (3) L New York Yankees Fenway Park
1927 Slim Harriss L Washington Senators Griffith Stadium
1928 Danny MacFayden W Washington Senators Griffith Stadium
1929 Red Ruffing L New York Yankees Yankee Stadium
1930 Danny MacFayden (2) ND (W) Washington Senators Griffith Stadium
1931 Wilcy Moore L New York Yankees Yankee Stadium
1932 Danny MacFayden (3) L Washington Senators Griffith Stadium
1933 Ivy Andrews L New York Yankees Yankee Stadium
1934 Gordon Rhodes ND (L) Washington Senators Fenway Park
1935 Wes Ferrell W New York Yankees Yankee Stadium
1936 Wes Ferrell (2) W Philadelphia Athletics Fenway Park
1937 Wes Ferrell (3) W Philadelphia Athletics Shibe Park
1938 Jim Bagby W New York Yankees Fenway Park
1939 Lefty Grove L New York Yankees Yankee Stadium
1940 Lefty Grove (2) W Washington Senators Griffith Stadium
1941 Jack Wilson ND (W) Washington Senators Fenway Park
1942 Dick Newsome W Philadelphia Athletics Fenway Park
1943 Tex Hughson W Philadelphia Athletics Shibe Park
1944 Yank Terry L New York Yankees Fenway Park
1945 Rex Cecil L New York Yankees Yankee Stadium
1946** Tex Hughson (2) W Washington Senators Griffith Park
1947 Tex Hughson (3) ND (W) Washington Senators Fenway Park
1948 Joe Dobson L Philadelphia Athletics Fenway Park
1949 Joe Dobson (2) L Philadelphia Athletics Shibe Park
1950 Mel Parnell ND (L) New York Yankees Fenway Park
1951 Bill Wight L New York Yankees Yankee Stadium
1952 Mel Parnell (2) W Washington Senators Griffith Stadium
1953 Mel Parnell (3) ND (W) Philadelphia Athletics Shibe Park
1954 Mel Parnell (4) L Philadelphia Athletics Shibe Park
1955 Frank Sullivan W Philadelphia Athletics Shibe Park
1956 Frank Sullivan (2) W Baltimore Orioles Fenway Park
1957 Tom Brewer W Baltimore Orioles Memorial Stadium
1958 Frank Sullivan (3) L Washington Senators Griffith Stadium
1959 Tom Brewer (2) L New York Yankees Yankee Stadium
1960 Tom Sturdivant L Washington Senators Griffith Stadium
1961 Bill Monbouquette L Kansas City Athletics Fenway Park
1962 Don Schwall L Cleveland Indians Fenway Park
1963 Bill Monbouquette (2) L Los Angeles Angels Chavez Ravine
1964 Bill Monbouquette (3) ND (W) New York Yankees Yankee Stadium
1965 Bill Monbouquette (4) W Washington Senators Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium
1966 Earl Wilson ND (L) Baltimore Orioles Fenway Park
1967** Jim Lonborg W Chicago White Sox Fenway Park
1968 Dick Ellsworth W Detroit Tigers Tiger Stadium
1969 Jim Lonborg (2) ND (W) Baltimore Orioles Memorial Stadium
1970 Gary Peters W New York Yankees Yankee Stadium
1971 Ray Culp W New York Yankees Fenway Park
1972 Marty Pattin L Detroit Tigers Tiger Stadium
1973 Luis Tiant W New York Yankees Fenway Park
1974 Luis Tiant (2) ND (W) Milwaukee Brewers County Stadium
1975** Luis Tiant (3) W Milwaukee Brewers Fenway Park
1976 Ferguson Jenkins L Baltimore Orioles Memorial Stadium
1977 Ferguson Jenkins (2) ND (L) Cleveland Indians Fenway Park
1978 Mike Torrez ND (L) Chicago White Sox Comiskey Park
1979 Dennis Eckersley W Cleveland Indians Fenway Park
1980 Dennis Eckersley (2) ND (L) Milwaukee Brewers County Stadium
1981 Dennis Eckersley (3) ND (L) Chicago White Sox Fenway Park
1982 Dennis Eckersley (4) W Baltimore Orioles Memorial Stadium
1983 Dennis Eckersley (5) L Toronto Blue Jays Fenway Park
1984 Bruce Hurst L California Angels Angel Stadium of Anaheim
1985 Oil Can Boyd W New York Yankees Fenway Park
1986** Bruce Hurst (2) ND (L) Detroit Tigers Tiger Stadium
1987 Bob Stanley L Milwaukee Brewers County Stadium
1988* Roger Clemens ND (L) Detroit Tigers Fenway Park
1989 Roger Clemens (2) ND (L) Baltimore Orioles Memorial Stadium
1990* Roger Clemens (3) W Detroit Tigers Fenway Park
1991 Roger Clemens (4) W Toronto Blue Jays SkyDome
1992 Roger Clemens (5) L New York Yankees Yankee Stadium
1993 Roger Clemens (6) W Kansas City Royals Kauffman Stadium
1994 Roger Clemens (7) ND (W) Detroit Tigers Fenway Park
1995* Aaron Sele W Minnesota Twins Fenway Park
1996 Roger Clemens (8) L Texas Rangers Rangers Ballpark in Arlington
1997 Tom Gordon ND (W) Anaheim Angels Angel Stadium of Anaheim
1998* Pedro Martinez W Oakland Athletics Network Associates Coliseum
1999* Pedro Martinez (2) W Kansas City Royals Kauffman Stadium
2000 Pedro Martinez (3) W Seattle Mariners Safeco Field
2001 Pedro Martinez (4) ND (L) Baltimore Orioles Oriole Park at Camden Yards
2002 Pedro Martinez (5) ND (L) Toronto Blue Jays Fenway Park
2003* Pedro Martinez (6) ND (L) Tampa Bay Devil Rays Tropicana Field
2004*** Pedro Martinez (7) L Baltimore Orioles Oriole Park at Camden Yards
2005* David Wells L New York Yankees Yankee Stadium
2006 Curt Schilling W Texas Rangers Rangers Ballpark in Arlington
2007*** Curt Schilling (2) L Kansas City Royals Kauffman Stadium
2008* Daisuke Matsuzaka ND (W) Oakland Athletics Tokyo Dome
2009* Josh Beckett W Tampa Bay Rays Fenway Park
2010 Josh Beckett (2) ND (W) New York Yankees Fenway Park
2011 Jon Lester ND (L) Texas Rangers Rangers Ballpark in Arlington
2012 Jon Lester (2) ND (L) Detroit Tigers Comerica Park
2013*** Jon Lester (3) W New York Yankees Yankee Stadium
2014 Jon Lester (4) L Baltimore Orioles Oriole Park at Camden Yards
2015 Clay Buchholz W Philadelphia Phillies Citizens Bank Park
2016* David Price W Cleveland Indians Progressive Field
2017* Rick Porcello W Pittsburgh Pirates Fenway Park
2018*** Chris Sale ND (L) Tampa Bay Rays Tropicana Field
2019 Chris Sale (2) L Seattle Mariners T-Mobile Park
2020 Nathan Eovaldi W Baltimore Orioles Fenway Park
2021* Nathan Eovaldi (2) L Baltimore Orioles Fenway Park
2022 Nathan Eovaldi (3) ND (L) New York Yankees Yankee Stadium
2023 Corey Kluber L Baltimore Orioles Fenway Park

This page was last updated at 2023-12-31 15:33 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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