Red Sox: Boston’s five biggest surprises from the 2021 season
Nathan Eovaldi Carries the Red Sox Rotation
Woo buddy, what can I say about Nathan Eovaldi that hasn’t already been said over the last few months? It’s not often that a pitcher in his 30’s that has as much wear and tear on his body as Nasty Nate posts his best season in year 10. Sure enough, the fireballing righty dug deep and put this pitching staff on his back and led them to the Postseason.
When Nate came here in 2018 he earned the admiration of Red Sox Nation right out of the gate. Injuries would dampen their opinion of him in 2019 but he would soon change that. He stepped up big time in 2020 during the COVID shortened season after Chris Sale was shut down for Tommy John, Eduardo Rodriguez battled the virus and myocarditis, and David Price was sent packing to Hollywood.
But 2021, this season, I don’t think anybody saw it coming. He led the AL in both starts (32), and FIP (2.79). He led all of Major League Baseball in BB/9 at a paltry 1.7, you weren’t getting a free pass off Nate in 2021. This past season saw him earn his first All-Star nod, a 15th-place MVP finish, and he just missed the Cy Young finals by a hair. Nothing to be ashamed of.
As a part of my ‘Bold Prediction‘ series, I said that Nate would walk away with 2022 carrying the Cy Young Award. He missed out on the honor by mere voting points this season and I think that may fuel the Texan to get even nastier when next season rolls around. I, for one, am all for it.