Red Sox Notes: Kutter Crawford Continues Concerning Trend Vs. Pirates

Crawford struggled on the mound


Apr 3, 2023

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Kutter Crawford went to the mound Monday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates in hopes of turning around his team’s starting pitching struggles.

But Crawford only kept the trend going.

Like the three Red Sox starting pitchers before him, the 27-year-old didn’t come close to delivering a quality start in Boston’s 7-6 loss to the Pirates at Fenway Park. The Red Sox have now allowed 30 runs through four games this season, which is tied for the fourth-most in franchise history.

“I think you could say we’re probably getting that first bad one out of the way,” Crawford told reporters as seen on NESN postgame coverage. “As a staff, we’re going to be accountable and we’re going to work and continue to be better. We as a team have been playing great. The bullpen has been doing well. The offense has been doing well. If I do my part tonight, we win that game easily. All the runs came off me. Offense did great. Bullpen did great. That loss is all on me.”

The Red Sox fell into an immediate hole as Crawford surrendered three runs in the top of the first. Boston got the lead back for Crawford by answering with five runs only for the right-hander to give the advantage right back.

Crawford lasted only four innings — no Red Sox starting pitcher has worked into the sixth yet — and surrendered seven runs on eight hits while walking two and striking out six.

“I thought it was pretty awful,” Crawford said. “Physically I felt good, but just didn’t command the ball like I need to. Didn’t execute pitches when I needed to. … Just not a good performance on my part.”

Everything else has fallen into place for the Red Sox. Boston’s bullpen allowed no runs and just one hit over six innings of work while the offense registered double-digit hits for the fourth straight game.

Right now, all of the attention for manager Alex Cora is being paid to fixing the starting pitching staff.

“We need to stop the opposition, and we didn’t do that,” Cora told reporters, as seen on NESN postgame coverage. “They swung the bats well. The ball was flying. We just didn’t make pitches. (Bryan) Reynolds put two good swings and did what he usually does. At one point, we got to pitch better.”

Here are more notes from Monday’s Red Sox-Pirates game:

— The Red Sox displayed their power in the bottom of the first inning with Rafael Devers, Masataka Yoshida and Triston Casas all going yard. With Yoshida and Casas’ round-trippers, they became the first pair of Red Sox rookie teammates to each homer in the first inning of a game in the Expansion Era, according to ESPN Stats and Info.

— After lacking a home run swing a season ago, the Red Sox sure have found it this year. With the three homers it hit Monday, Boston now has eight homers on the season, which is among the top-performing offenses in the league. Cora conceded they have gotten some help from their home ballpark.

“I mean, this is different, man,” Cora said. “I’ve never seen anything like this so early in the season. The ball is flying here.”

— Adam Duvall continued to make Red Sox history with a 2-for-3 performance that included an RBI and two walks. Duvall became the first player in his first four games with the Red Sox to reach base as many as 13 times, according to Red Sox senior manager of media relations and baseball information J.P. Long.

— The Red Sox and Pirates meet in the middle game of their three-game series on Tuesday. First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET, and you can watch the game, plus an hour of pregame coverage on NESN.

Thumbnail photo via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images
Pittsburgh Pirates teammates Bryan Reynolds, Carlos Santana
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Boston Red Sox outfielder Masataka Yoshida
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