Nick Pivetta was dealing Thursday night, to say the least, so it may have come as a surprise that he was pulled in the top of the seventh with a no-hitter going.
The Red Sox pitcher was removed after 6 2/3 innings of no-hit ball in Boston’s eventual 1-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Pivetta had thrown 100 pitches and it was 0-0 game at the time when manager Alex Cora decided to go to the bullpen for Josh Taylor.
It was a decision Cora said was a “no-brainer.”
“It wasn’t tough,” Cora said after the game. “It was a 0-0 game. We had one of the best lefties in the game, probably the best lefty throwing the ball in the game. It was a no-brainer.”
Taylor had 21 consecutive scoreless innings coming into Thursday’s game, and stretched that 22 after his appearance. So it certainly made sense.
And if you ask Pivetta, as much as he didn’t want to come out, he didn’t have a problem with his manager’s decision.
“I did not want to come out,” Pivetta said. “But it’s not about me. It’s about winning baseball games and that’s what’s most important. The matchups worked out really well with JT, who has been doing a great job with those lefties all series.”
Here are some other notes from Thursday’s Red Sox-Rays game:
— The no-hitter wasn’t the only storyline throughout the game, though.
There was some bad baserunning, a nice catch by Hunter Renfroe and Boston lost on a walk-off wild pitch. Overall, Cora knows there still was good that came from it.
“We did a lot of good things. We did a lot of bad things,” Cora said. “At the end they got a good lead at third, the ball gets away from Christian (Vázquez,) they win the game.”
— Pivetta still didn’t get win No. 7, but Cora liked what he saw after a dismal start from Garrett Richards on Wednesday.
“It was amazing. Good fast ball, good slider, good breaking ball,” Cora said. “I love the way he went about it in the first inning. He was more aggressive than his previous starts, kind of set the tempo. That’s what he has to do.”
— The Red Sox now return home for a set against the New York Yankees beginning Friday. First, they’ll honor Dustin Pedroia with a pregame ceremony. Catch all the action on NESN beginning at 6 p.m. ET.