Kutter Crawford making Red Sox history hopefully won’t enable ownership frugality

Baltimore Orioles v Boston Red Sox
Baltimore Orioles v Boston Red Sox / Brian Fluharty/GettyImages

The Boston Red Sox's recent defensive woes have overshadowed the enduring quality of their starters' outings. Kutter Crawford's performance on Patriots' Day was no exception.

The right-hander has taken over the No. 2 spot in Boston's starting rotation after Nick Pivetta was moved to the 15-day injured list. His performances have met every expectation of a team's second starter.

Crawford pitched 5.2 innings against the Guardians and only allowed two hits. He fanned six batters and didn't allow a walk or run, but the Red Sox ended up losing the game due to yet another ugly defensive showing, and Crawford's skillful outing was all for naught.

Boston has allowed a staggering 19 unearned runs on the young season, the most in MLB. Opposing teams rack up quite a few runs against the Red Sox, but few are charged to the starters.

Kutter Crawford makes Red Sox history despite ownership's negligence of the starting rotation

Despite the Red Sox's loss, Crawford still secured a piece of franchise history. His fourth start of the 2024 season made him the only starting pitcher in Red Sox history to allow one or fewer runs and three or fewer hits in their first four starts of a season.

Boston's starting pitching is still defying the odds set at the beginning of the season — after ownership didn't address the Sox's starting pitching issues from last year, few expected Boston's pitching to succeed as it has early on. It's a testament to the pitchers' grit and the methods of the training and coaching staff preparing them for their performances, but ownership could interpret it as a stroke of inexpensive genius. The Sox's rotation performs well in spite of ownership, not because of it.

The Red Sox's starting pitching has been Fenway Sports Group's dream so far. The rotation has been solid and consistent for a low price, and that's exactly what ownership wanted. They fielded the cheapest possible team, but hiring Andrew Bailey may have led ownership to believe they've fixed all of Boston's pitching woes. There's still a lot of baseball left to play before the court of public opinion's decision on this year's ball club is final, however.

Pitching is far from the Red Sox's biggest problem now, and some members of the front office may consider that a victory. There's still a lot of work to be done before Boston is "competitive," as the men in charge promised it would be this year. And unfortunately for John Henry and Tom Werner, that "work" costs money.

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