Kutter Crawford continues to thrive for the Red Sox
In a season marred with disappointment and injury, Boston Red Sox rookie Kutter Crawford has been one of the few bright spots this season. At points, it looked like Boston was going to walk into the Postseason as one of the three AL Wild Cards, but now, that feels like a fever dream. While the team has had to rely on several rookies and names we wouldn’t have expected in 2022, it’s been Kutter that may turn in the best results.
His rookie campaign didn’t start out quite as he hoped, but a rebound against the Yankees and some time back in Worcester to solve the equation has paid dividends. Since that start against the Cardinals that earned him the trip back to Triple-A, he’s been a workhorse for this ballclub and is far exceeding anything we could’ve expected for him. In fact, he’s been one of Boston’s most reliable arms and has stepped up significantly while many of the other starters have faltered.
In the month of July, Crawford owned a 2.57 ERA, 2.72 FIP, 8.36 K/9, and a 1.29 BB/9 through 28.0 innings of work, per FanGraphs. For a rookie that was tossed into a situation, nobody could’ve planned for, those are some pretty damn good numbers. His first start of the month saw him go toe-to-toe with the Houston Astros in what may be his best start of the entire season.
We all know how good the Astros are and considering the way the Red Sox are performing right now, Houston should’ve mauled Boston. Little did the 2017 World Champions know, that the Krawdaddy was taking the ball and he wasn’t in a mood to mess around. The righty tossed six innings of one-run ball giving up seven hits, walking a single batter, and striking out six Astros on the night. Again, I’ll take that every day and twice on Sunday.
MassLive’s Christopher Smith caught up with Crawford after yesterday’s game and the right-hander spoke not only about his mentality on the mound but the work he put in to get back to what he does best.
"“There’s not a hitter that steps in the box I think is better than me,” Crawford said. “I think every pitcher needs to have that mindset to be successful.”"
Some may read that ass cocky or arrogant, but if you don’t want your pitchers to have that mentality, I don’t know what you’re doing. If he has any doubt in his abilities he may as well find something else to do for a living.
That isn’t Kutter, though, he made it to ‘The Show’ saw that things weren’t working, and went back to the lab to get himself back to where he needed to be. That level of professionalism is what has led him to be an easy option for Alex Cora in a time when those aren’t coming very often.
"“I was just moving way too fast, trying to throw hard,” Crawford said. “So I was losing the quality of my pitches and most importantly, my command. So that was one of my big focuses, going down there (to Worcester), just focusing on my command and honing in my mechanics and really slowing it down.”"
He did get a little tuned up yesterday in Kansas City but those days are going to happen. In 2022, it may sound a little weird, but I feel far more comfortable on days when he’s going to start compared to the rest of the rotation. It’s not often that a rookie can give that sense of calm but with the numbers, he’s posted this year it’s hard to ignore it. With the rotation pretty much emptying out after this season, Crawford has more than earned his spot for next year’s starting squad.
This season didn’t start out great for Kutter and there have been some hiccups here and there, but the righty has been a fantastic addition to this roster. Whether in the bullpen or starting rotation, he has given Cora and the Red Sox everything he has. For that, I hope to see him finish out the year as a starter and have a crack at a spot for 2023. In a season that has been filled with letdowns, Kutter has turned that disappointment into dominance.