Red Sox: Nick Pivetta deserved more than what his teammates gave him

Aug 7, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Nick Pivetta (37) delivers a pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 7, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Nick Pivetta (37) delivers a pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports /

The Red Sox let Nick Pivetta down in a massive way

Yesterday should’ve been a day of celebration for the Red Sox, but sadly it wasn’t meant to be. With one pitch in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Blue Jays took the first game of a double-header and dealt Boston another blow to their season. It could have and should have ended differently.

Alex Cora’s side had more opportunities to succeed than a trust fund kid and couldn’t get it done. The worst offense in that first game came at the cost of Nick Pivetta, as his teammates couldn’t get the job done for him. This was an all-time gem from Nicky P and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

Boston’s starting rotation has been utter trash as of late and they needed someone to stop the bleeding and Pivetta did exactly that. In an odd turn of events, it was the more often than not lights-out closer, Matt Barnes, that blew things but he should get just a fraction of the blame. The loss in the first game falls directly on the shoulders of the players on the field.

"“[Ray is] a tough one. For [Pivetta] to go out there and pitch toe-to-toe with him, that was good,” said manager Alex Cora. “That was a good sign and he did an amazing job.”"

I’ll give Robbie Ray credit as he pitched his heart out as well and deserved to win the game just as much as Pivetta. However, the Red Sox had their chances, they had guys on base and they just couldn’t get it done. Some of the swings and misses I saw against Ray yesterday should be considered illegal.

Halfhearted swings at balls that they never had a chance of connecting with. When you have a guy on the mound giving you everything he has and he’s shutting down one of the most potent offenses in the league, you have to back him up.

Both Pivetta and Cora were thrilled with how the righty performed after having a few bad starts in his recent outings. He looked more like the guy that arrived in Boston last season and cruised to an easy 2-0 record before the end of the year.

Seriously though, he went out and tossed six innings of one-hit, one-walk ball while striking out five Jays, that’s some damn impressive stuff. Going forward if the Red Sox want to have any chance at the postseason, they’ll need more starts like this from the righty.

Both AC and Pivetta were pretty thrilled with his outing yesterday with the right-hander crediting his fastball control as the secret to his success.

"“I just commanded the strike zone with my fastball,” Pivetta said. “These guys are really aggressive, so I got a lot of early contact. The guys played really good defense behind me and [you] just have to be at your best against that team.”"

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Pivetta has earned his spot in the rotation despite those recent hiccups and will likely remain with the trio of Eduardo Rodriguez and Nathan Eovaldi as things shake up to add Chris Sale and Tanner Houck full-time. Nicky P is an incredibly likable guy and has the perfect mentality if you play alongside him. When he does well he gives credit to those around him and when he does poorly he bears the weight of that. He’s very similar to former Red Sox starter Rick Porcello in that aspect. Neither will ever take credit when they have the chance to shine up those around them.

Since arriving in Boston at last year’s trade deadline he has amassed a 10-5 record and has been one of the more reliable arms in the rotation. In 2021, he’s 8-5 with a 4.34 ERA, 4.19 FIP, and 1.268 WHIP in 118.1 innings of work. Per Fangraphs, he ranks third overall in WAR for the Red Sox starters this season behind Evo and E-Rod, with a 1.8.

He’s more than elevated himself in this pitching staff and has earned his spot. His start yesterday was exactly what Boston needed, I only wish we could’ve seen that record move to 9-5 yesterday, because he deserved it.

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Nick Pivetta may not be the flashiest guy on the staff and he may not have “blow you away” stuff, but he’s a damn good pitcher and he should’ve gotten that win yesterday. He gave everything to the Red Sox on the mound in Toronto and they simply didn’t show him any love back. This team really needs to get their minds right and get back to what had them sitting atop the AL East for the first half of this season, otherwise, this was all for nothing.