Red Sox waste Crawford's Marathon Monday gem, O'Neill exits after collision

Gabrielle Starr, Boston Herald on

Published in Baseball

BOSTON — “The vibe is different, and it should be fun,” said Alex Cora before Fenway Park’s annual Marathon Monday morning game. “I always loved it.”

Unfortunately, the vibe was painfully familiar and decidedly not fun when the Red Sox fell to the Guardians 6-0 a few hours later in a game punctuated by a terrifying collision between Rafael Devers and Tyler O’Neill.

As runners made their way from Hopkinton to Copley Square, there was little action on the basepaths at Fenway. The Boston bats managed just three hits – one apiece from Jarren Duran, Devers, and O’Neill at the top of the order – and two walks, and struck out eight times.

“We hit the ball in the air, but lazy fly-balls,” Cora assessed.

The loss, which gives the Red Sox a 9-8 record, was made worse by what was wasted. Kutter Crawford had been magnificent, holding the Guardians to two hits and striking out six over 5 ⅔ innings. According to the club’s media relations, the right-hander the only pitcher in franchise history – openers excluded – to allow no more than one earned run and three or fewer hits in each of their first four starts of a season.

“I think the big emphasis for me was to attack the zone consistently,” Crawford assessed. He was able to work around falling behind in counts by forcing hitters to swing, and finished the outing without issuing a single walk.


“He was great,” Cora lauded. “He worked hard in the offseason to maintain his stuff from pitch No. 75 to pitch No. 100, and that’s something he didn’t do last year.

“Now, the fastball is playing, the cutter is good, the split was okay today,” the skipper added. “He has a good feel, and he has good stuff, too.”

Crawford also acknowledged that he’s come a long way over the past two years, calling the ’22 season a “big learning year.”

“Throwing the strikes is huge, competing is huge, and trusting your stuff, having conviction in your pitches,” he explained. “Previous starts, I leaned on the sweeper, today I leaned on the cutter, and I had conviction in those pitches today.”


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