Red Sox look irresponsible for rushing Nick Pivetta back to face powerhouse Braves

Boston Red Sox v Atlanta Braves
Boston Red Sox v Atlanta Braves / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

The Boston Red Sox trotted back to their dugout after they thought a double play ended the bottom of the first inning of their contest with the Atlanta Braves on May 8.

The call was eventually overturned, and Boston's defense took the field again as Nick Pivetta returned to his post on the mound. Then, his human kryptonite, Marcell Ozuna, came up to bat.

Pivetta gave up a three-run homer to the slugger after he thought his defense got him out of the inning. Orlando Arcia followed Ozuna with another blast, and the Red Sox were swiftly in a deep hole. The next time Ozuna faced Pivetta, he hit another bomb to put the nail in Boston's coffin and took the wind out of its sails.

Pivetta struggled in his first start back from his stint on the injured list. The righty went four innings and allowed five runs, walked one batter and struck out another in his worst outing of the season, by far.

Red Sox unjustifiably rushed Nick Pivetta back from IL to start against Braves

On the other hand, the Braves' pitching was brilliant. Chris Sale posted his best performance of the season and pitched six innings of shutout baseball against his former team.

Pivetta spent over a month on the injured list rehabbing a flexor strain he sustained on April 6. He made a rehab start on May 2 and he looked shaky, at best. Pivetta allowed three runs on four hits and four walks, which was his worst showing of the season to that date.

He looked like he could've used another rehab outing before being reinstated to the majors, and the Red Sox had the chance to get it right. Boston's backup options held down the fort nicely in the wake of Pivetta, Garrett Whitlock and Brayan Bello's injuries. Cooper Criswell pitched in Pivetta's stead and his four outings for the Red Sox were outstanding.

Pivetta came out of the game after the fourth inning and the Red Sox didn't allow another run to the Braves' scary offense. Pivetta didn't look ready to return to the mound, and Boston unnecessarily rushed him back against one of the best offenses in the league.

Maybe the Red Sox's dominance from the mound is unsustainable, and Pivetta's could be the first of many rough outings coming, but he did not need to take the mound on May 8 when Boston's other options have been pitching so well after he had been rehabbing a somewhat concerning injury.

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