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Red Sox Starting Rotation ERA is the Franchise’s Lowest Since 1920

Many clubs are either missing their biggest arrms and relying on other options while others have that at full strenghth. The Philadelphia Phillies have Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler, the Arizona Diamondbacks have Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly. But if we look away from the names and focus on run prevention with ERA, it’s a different story. Neither of those pitchers and their teams are leading the league in that stat. Leading the league through Saturday are the Boston Red Sox (1.72).

Red Sox Rotation Continues to be a Surprise

The 1.72 ERA by the Red Sox rotation is the franchise’s lowers through 21 games since 1920. It’s the second-lowest by any team since 2000, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. A season ago, the Red Sox starters 4.68 ERA was ranked 22nd in baseball. The turnaround in the early going of this season is significant for Boston. The club has been handed a depleted staff for the last few seasons. They made on addition to its rotation during the offseason by signign Lucas Giolito. The right-hander suffered an elbow injury during spring training and is likely out for the season.

Despite the injuries its had to endure in April, the rotation could remain one of the best in baseball thanks to these three starters. They have been spectacular even as they await the return of Garrett Whitlock (left oblique strain) and Nick Pivetta (right elbow flexor strain).

Kutter Crawford

Kutter Crawford has been the face of the Red Sox rotation. His 0.42 ERA through his first four starts is the lowest for a Red Sox since Roger Clemens 0.28 ERA in his first four starts of 1991. That’s some good company to be in, but Crawford sits alone in another stat with Boston. Crawford is the only pitcher in Red Sox history to allow one or fewer runs and three or fewer hits in each of their first four starts of a season. Crawford, 28, is in his fourth major league season, all with the Red Sox.

Tanner Houck

Tanner Houck pitched a geme against the Cleveland Guardians on Wednesday. His three-hit, no-walk, nine-strikeout, 94 pitch shutout was the first “Maddux” thrown by a Red Sox pitcher since Clay Buchholz on August 31, 2014. That term is in honor of Hall of Famer Greg Maddux, referring to a shutout accomplished in fewer than 100 pitches. Houck’s complete game took just 1 hour, 49 minutes to complete. It’s the shortest nine-inning game since June 2, 2010, Armando Galarraga‘s near-perfect game for the Detroit Tigers.

Brayan Bello

The Red Sox and Brayan Bello came to an agreement on a six-year extension in March. His 3.92 ERA is pulling up the team’s average, but there’s been a lot to like in his game this season. In Friday’s start against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Bello gave up one hit to a club who had collected eight double-digit hit games in their first 19 games. Bello had a solid outing who finally completed six innings in a start. It’s something he has done in more than half of his starts last season.

Main Photo: © Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports


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