Nick Pivetta shines in first postseason start despite Red Sox loss
In the blink of an eye last night, Game 4 of the ALCS went from within our grasp to in a completely different area code. The Red Sox had the slimmest of leads on the Astros in a game that felt inevitable after the last two blowout wins. The bats didn’t show up and the bullpen couldn’t finish the job but Nick Pivetta more than did what was asked of him in his first-ever postseason start.
During the regular season, I dubbed Nick Pivetta “Captain Canada,” and last night he earned his shield. America has Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson, England has Peggy Carter, and now Canada has Pivetta.
It still blows my mind that Chaim was able to fleece the Phillies into giving us Nicky P and Connor Seabold for two mediocre relievers that didn’t last at all with the team. As of now, it has the chance to be one of the best moves the young CBO has made in Boston.
Last night was the righty’s first start since September 30th as he was moved to the bullpen at the end of the regular season to be a long relief weapon. That plan has been more than successful as Pivetta has been absolutely light’s out in his relief appearances and has shown to have the big game clutch gene. While he didn’t need to shout, stomp, or slam his chest too much last night, he did exactly what Alex Cora needed him to do, give the boys the chance to win.
Pivetta tossed five innings of two-hit, one-run ball and exited the game with a 2-1 lead on the scoreboard. His line may not be jumping off of the page but limiting this very due offense to just two hits in five innings is beyond impressive. He also gave up a pair of free passes while striking out three batters. That lone run was an Alex Bregman solo blast in the first inning, after that shot, it was Nicky P’s night to do the damn thing.
Considering he hasn’t been starting as of late he very well could’ve been incredibly rusty and this train could’ve gone off the tracks much earlier than it had. But I think we can all agree that this version of Pivetta is something we were all hoping would show up during his Red Sox tenure.
His career has been propped up on potential and he’s now hitting that mark each and every time he touches the mound. Look no further than his long relief efforts in the ALDS and ALCS for proof.
What he did against the Astros in Game 4 is something we saw him do all season long with the Red Sox, he may get into trouble but he seems to always find a way out of it.
Through the 2021 campaign, he served up 137 hits and 65 walks, so plenty of ducks were on the pond, but his 73.25 LOB% would quickly snuff them out before the damage could be done. His 4.53 ERA isn’t flashy but I’ll gladly take his 10.16 K/9 to his 3.77 BB/9 every damn day.
When all is said and done, no matter how the Red Sox finish off this postseason, Pivetta has more than earned his spot on this roster. What he’s done for Alex Cora and this team this season has been something every club would dream for.
He’ll eat innings in a bad game, he’ll fire up his teammates when he’s on the bench, he’ll start, he’ll be a reliever, he doesn’t care. He just wants to go out there and do whatever he has to in order to give his team the best chance to win.
I’ve been a big NIck Pivetta guy since he came over to Boston last season and I’m thrilled to see him succeed. I have a buddy at work that is from Philly and he gave me the lowdown on him when the deal was announced. He simply made it known that when Pivetta is on, he’s damn good, but when he’s not I’ll want to close my eyes. It’s safe to say that in his short tenure with the Red Sox my eyes have been glued to the TV whenever he has the ball.
Last night could’ve been the dagger to Houston’s heart and the Red Sox let them off the hook, not the gameplan. It wasn’t for a lack of effort or a poor start from Pivetta though as he gave them everything he had and the win was within reach. Considering it was his first-ever postseason start, in Game 4 of the ALCS in front of a rowdy Fenway Park, I think Captain Canada more than earned his shield.