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The Red Sox and the June Swoon

Yesterday I saw a tweet from fellow CGS writer Brent Buckley that made me think of an old knock against the Red Sox, the “June Swoon:”

The first time I heard about the June Swoon, it was in a book about the Red Sox 2004 World Series run. The Sox had a 11-14 record in June but we’re able to bounce back and end the year at 98-64, good enough to win the wild card. So, i decided to look at the Red Sox records since 2000 (minus 2020) in June and over the course of the year and see if there was any pattern to it all.

The Numbers:

The Tens:

2019: 15-12 record in June, 84-78 record overall, 3rd in the AL East. Missed Playoffs.

2018: 17-10 record in June, 108-54 record overall, 1st in the AL East and best record in baseball. Won World Series.

2017: 16-12 record in June, 93-69 record overall, 1st in the AL East. Lost ALDS

2016: 10-16 record in June, 93-69 record overall, 1st in the AL East. Lost ALDS.

2015: 14-14 record in June, 78-84 record overall, 5th in the AL East. Missed playoffs.

2014: 12-16 record in June, 71-91 record overall, 5th in the AL East. Missed playoffs.

2013: 17-11 record in June, 97-65 record overall, 1st in the AL East. Won World Series.

2012: 15-12 record in June, 69-93 record overall, 5th in the AL East. Missed playoffs.

2011: 16-8 record in June, 90-72 record overall, 3rd in the AL East. Missed playoffs.

2010: 18-9 record in June, 89-73 record overall, 3rd in the AL East. Missed playoffs.

So far, we can see somewhat of a pattern. In most cases, a losing record in June does not bode well for the Sox, save for 2016. On the flip side, winning in June generally means a winning record and playoff berth, but not always. 2012 was the only time the team had a winning record in June but a losing record overall. We all know what happened that season. And 2010, 2011, and 2019 all had winning records both in June and overall, but led to missing the playoffs. Let’s see if the pattern continues in the next decade.

The Naughts:

2009: 18-8 record in June, 95-67 record overall, 2nd in the AL East. Lost ALDS

2008: 16-11 record in June, 95-67 record overall, 2nd in the AL East. Lost ALCS.

2007: 13-14 record in June, 96-66 record overall, 1st in the AL East. Won World Series.

2006: 17-9 record in June, 86-76 record overall, 3rd in the AL East. Missed playoffs.

2005: 17-9 record in June, 95-65 record overall, 2nd in the AL East. Lost in ALDS.

2004: 11-14 record in June, 98-64 record overall, 2nd in the AL East. Won World Series.

2003: 16-10 record in June, 95-67 record overall, 1st in the AL East. Lost in ALCS.

2002: 10-16 record in June, 93-69 record overall, 2nd in the AL East. Missed playoffs.

2001: 17-11 record in June, 82-79 record overall, 2nd in the AL East. Missed playoffs.

2000: 9-18 record in June, 85-77 record overall, 2nd in the AL East. Missed playoffs.

Now, this decade was a little more interesting. Both of the Sox’s World Series runs in the naughts came with a losing record in June, and of the three years they lost single digit games in June (2005, 2006, 2009), they lost in the ALDS twice and missed the playoffs once. Otherwise, they had winning records each year overall regardless of their record in June. Final stats: missed playoffs two our of four times they had a losing record in June, and made the playoffs four out of six times they had a winning record in June. Talk about mixed results.

The “June Swoon” Conclusion:

After looking back on the Junes of the past 20 years, it seems a little mixed in terms of correlation between winning in June and making the playoffs. Tightening our focus to the past 10 years might be a little better, but we will see some interesting outliers in 2010, 2011, 2016 and 2019 (although in 2010 and 2011 they were on the cusp of making the playoffs). It seems that a good June record has not always been a good indicator of the team. However, with how competitive the AL East is this year, I would say a winning record might be necessary for the Sox to stay in the pennant race. Hopefully things go their way.

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– Pat Shuman (@PShu1996 on Twitter) Check out my other articles here!

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