It had been over a year since Nick Pivetta last appeared in a Major League Baseball game as a starting pitcher.
You wouldn’t have known that judging from his performance Tuesday night, though.
The Red Sox pitcher gave up one earned run on four hits over five innings of work in Boston’s 8-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park. Pivetta tallied eight strikeouts, as well.
Not bad for a guy who hasn’t started a game since July 2019.
“I’m just really grateful for this opportunity,” Pivetta said during his Zoom postgame press conference. “It’s been over a year since I’ve been able to start in the big leagues.”
Pivetta already knows what he needs to work on going forward, too.
“My curveball wasn’t really there early,” he said. “I was getting a lot of swings and misses with my slider, so you kind of have to just stick with that. … I need my fastball command to be there earlier. Those three walks I had were all on misfire fastballs. Just got to tighten that up.”
Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke certainly liked what he saw.
“Really nice,” Roenicke said on Zoom. “We’ve been looking forward to seeing him pitch and really enjoyed watching what he did.”
Hopefully the future is bright for Pivetta.
Here are some other notes from Tuesday’s Red Sox-Orioles game:
— Red Sox fans should be encouraged by what they’ve seen from both Pivetta and Tanner Houck — who made MLB history during his last outing.
Couple them with the eventual return of Chris Sale and Eduardo Rodriguez in 2021, there’s plenty of reason to be optimistic for the future.
“You look at Eddie being back next year. You look at Chris whenever he’s able to get after it again,” Roenicke said. “You look at these guys, it’s a good feeling going forward.”
— Rafael Devers had a rough night at the plate, going 0-for-5 with four strikeouts.
— J.D. Martinez, who has struggled at the dish all season, had a nice game for himself.
The designated hitter tallied a team-high three hits in five at-bats, with one RBI and one run scored.
— Christian Vazquez broke the game open in the sixth with a three-run home run into the Green Monster to make it 8-3.
— Nathan Eovaldi gets the ball Wednesday for the chance to continue the Red Sox’s strong starting pitching in their last week of the season.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images