Red Sox: Nick Pivetta looks to keep his Boston record perfect tonight

May 14, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Nick Pivetta (37) pitches against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports
May 14, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Nick Pivetta (37) pitches against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports /
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Red Sox turn to perfect Nick Pivetta to end losing skid

When it comes to sports we’ve heard the “a change of scenery,” probably more times than we can remember. In regards to Red Sox right-hander Nick Pivetta, he’s the definition of the phrase. His potential was always harped on during his tenure in Philadelphia but since he’s adorned that Boston “B” on his hat, he’s been hitting the mark. With the club on a two-game losing stint, they’ll turn to the reliable righty to get things back on track.

Things have been pretty damn good for Pivetta since Chaim Bloom brought him to the Red Sox at last year’s trade deadline. You remember that deal, don’t you? The one that saw Bloom send Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree to the Phillies for Pivetta and Connor Seabold. A trade that has more than paid off already as the starter has been solid and Seabold has shown great ability in the minors. Oh yeah, Chaim would then re-sign Workman to a minor league deal, paying him far less than he would’ve in free agency.

Let’s get back to Pivetta though as he’s emerged as one of Boston’s best starters through the early going of this season. He won’t blow you away with crazy gas or break your ankles with some serious break but he is able to do both. Let me explain. He’s now a pitcher who’s known for his fastball like Nathan Eovaldi or his knuckleball like Tim Wakefield, but he can do a little bit of everything to get the job done. Nicky P can hit the mid-high 90’s while also making hitters look foolish with his nasty knuckle-curve.

What has allowed Pivetta to be so successful with the Red Sox is hard to really put your finger on as a number of factors have gone right each and every outing for him. Whether it be run support, solid defense, or simply having trust in himself and his catcher to call the right pitches at the right time. As the fourth man in the rotation, there aren’t wild expectations of him to achieve massive levels of success but he’s doing exactly that.

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Per Fangraphs, he’s relying on his fastball 52.3% of the time while his slider is called upon 27.5% and his curve 18.5%. He’ll also toss his changeup but only to the tune of 1.3% of the time. It’s pretty clear that while Pivetta is comfortable throwing everything in his arsenal it’s his fastball that will always be the foundation for what he does. He’ll need it tonight against a Braves offense that has no trouble at all piling on the runs and doing so in a hurry. If he gives them even a slight opening they’ll pounce all over it and make him pay.

Pivetta has yet to go past the sixth inning this season and that’s likely his cutoff as we’ve seen things can get a bit gamey the longer he stays on the mound. Through nine starts he owns a 5-0 record, 3.59 ERA, 3.43 FIP, and 1.238 WHIP. His K/BB is pretty solid as well as it’s currently 50/24 and breaks down to 9.4 K/9 and 4.5 BB/9. Again, his numbers aren’t the best in the starting rotation but he does find himself near the top of what the Red Sox trot out on any given night. Since joining the team he hasn’t seen a tally added to his loss column and will be eyeing his sixth win of the year tonight.

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While the Red Sox may only be 0.5 games back of the Tampa Bay Rays in the standings it’s a tough pill to swallow. Boston has one of the best offenses in the league but has had issues capitalizing when they get runners in scoring position and it’s haunted them all season long. They’re getting their chances to take their shots and they’re just not getting it done. With Pivetta on the mound tonight it’s safe to say the pitching will keep them in the game, they just have to give him the run support to do what he does best.