The Red Sox pitching staff has been razor-thin due to injuries. Even with a limited number of starters, manager Alex Cora decided to keep Nick Pivetta in the bullpen. Pivetta, who had been a starting pitcher up to this point, struggled to begin the year and was moved to the bullpen. The move might have been the best thing for Pivetta as he has embraced the role and flourished.
Heading into the trade deadline, Pivetta could have been a piece Boston was looking to move. However, Pivetta proved his worth this month by posting a 1.29 ERA so far in July. One of the biggest moments of his season so far was against the Athletics. Brennan Bernardino was the opener, and Pivetta came in and went six scoreless innings, including a franchise-record 13 strikeouts in relief.
Nick Pivetta has dominated in July for Red Sox
While Pivetta has dominated in July, this stretch has been much longer. In his last 15 appearances, Pivetta has a 1.51 ERA, a 4-2 record, and 52 strikeouts in just 35-2/3 innings. Pivetta's ability to work long innings in relief helps reset the Boston bullpen and make up for a bad start. Location and command had been two struggles for Pivetta at the start of the season, but those have not been a problem in relief.
The Red Sox have caught fire at the right time, holding a five-game winning streak. Headed towards the trade deadline and with Kiké Hernandez already traded to the Dodgers, each win marks one step closer to Boston being buyers rather than sellers. Currently, the Red Sox are sitting a game and a half out of the final wild card slot. The good news about the team they sit behind is that Toronto has lost every game this season against Boston.
Pivetta's ability to shut down opposing teams out of the bullpen for multiple innings brings an element to Boston they lacked last season. Similar to last season, the starting pitching is not regularly going into the later innings, so the bullpen is called upon more often. Especially when the team loses three starters, Tanner Houck, Chris Sale, and Garrett Whitlock for extended periods of time. Despite the injury concerns, the Red Sox pitching staff has answered the call and kept Boston in games so that the offense does not have to get into a slugfest.
With the Red Sox getting healthier by the day and Trevor Story just a week away from his return Boston is looking to make a push for possibly the top of the division. Not only is the Red Sox pitching great, but the defense has improved over the last few weeks. Boston is becoming a more complete team, and that has generated more wins leading to the win streak and having won seven out of their last 10 games.