KANSAS CITY — They are the kind of numbers that make you check your math twice.
Since last Sept. 1, the Red Sox have allowed an average of 6.05 runs per game. Their pitching staff has a 5.58 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP.
The starters are 13-25 with a 6.41 ERA and a 1.64 WHIP. Sox starters are averaging just over 5 1/3 innings per start over the last 56 games.
Jon Lester (2-5, 4.98) hasn’t been immune. Josh Beckett (3-4, 4.88), either. Throw in the rest of the prospects, suspects and malcontents and you get a team that has won 19 of its last 56 games.
Obviously none of these numbers are new. But it’s fairly amazing that a team like the Red Sox can give up six runs a game for that long of a time. This is not some sort of anomaly or statistical quirk. This is more than a third of a season.
Bobby Valentine didn’t become the Red Sox manager, he became a tour guide at the minefield.
It makes one wonder whether the only solution is a shakeup like the Nomar Garciaparra trade in 2004.
It may sound like heresy to suggest it, but no player in the organization should be considered untouchable in an attempt to change the mix on the mound via trade. Nobody.
Would the Red Sox consider something crazy like trading for Johan Santana? Or offering Seattle anything it wanted for Felix Hernandez? Maybe make a deal with Theo Epstein for Matt Garza and Ryan Dempster from the Cubs?
There comes a time to blow it up and that time is steadily approaching.
At the very least, there has to be a team out there that will give up a starting pitcher for Kevin Youkilis, who may be expendable given the emergence of Will Middlebrooks.
A 5.58 ERA over 56 games? Yep, checked the math. It’s true.