Red Sox Notes: Nick Pivetta Continues To Step Up For Boston

Pivetta has won seven out of his last eight starts


Jun 19, 2022

For Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Nick Pivetta, his tough start to this season is long, long behind him.

Pivetta continued to be instrumental to the Red Sox’s winning ways on Sunday afternoon against the St. Louis Cardinals, as he shook off a slow start to turn in yet another excellent performance in a 6-4 win at Fenway Park.

Pivetta walked four out of the first 10 batters he faced, but settled down, throwing seven innings and allowing just one run while striking out 10 to earn his seventh victory over his last eight starts. Pivetta’s strong showings are even more important recently with Garrett Whitlock and Nathan Eovaldi on the injured list.

“He did an outstanding job,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora told reporters, as seen on NESN postgame coverage. “Not at his best early on. … He stayed in the zone late in the game and gave us a strong seven.”

Pivetta’s ability to chew up innings is another major benefit for the Red Sox, helping to save the arms in the bullpen on a routine basis.

Pivetta got stronger the deeper into the game he went against the Cardinals. Pivetta saved his best work for the seventh inning, starting the frame by punching out Harrison Bader and Ivan Herrera. Pivetta then got to a 3-2 count on Tommy Edman, but reared back and on his 108th pitch of his outing, froze Edman with a nasty slider that dotted the outside corner.

The strikeout fired Pivetta up as he left the mound and let his emotions pour out of him.

“Personally, I just think I’m going out there and competing,” Pivetta said as seen on NESN postgame coverage. “You’re facing the best hitters in the world at any time. I’m just competing out there and I want to beat the best at all times. I want to finish really strong. It’s just like that accumulation of everything coming together kind of gets my emotions going, but it’s a lot of fun. I take great pride in what I do.”

More notes from Sunday’s Red Sox-Cardinals game:

— Christian Vázquez delivered a big three-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning, which the Red Sox ended up needing after the Cardinals scored three times in the ninth. Vázquez’s shot traveled 407 feet over the Green Monster.

“He threw me a good sinker in and it was moving a lot, so I was trying to get the head (of the bat) out and drive some runs in,” Vázquez told NESN’s Jahmai Webster, as seen on the network’s postgame coverage. “I hit it good.”

— Trevor Story staked Boston to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning by belting a 397-foot homer to the opposite field. For Story, it was his first round-tripper since May 26.

— John Schreiber continues to prove he’s the go-to guy for the eighth inning for the Red Sox. Facing the Cardinals best hitters in that frame and holding on to a two-run lead at that time, Schreiber delivered big-time by striking out the size in order, including getting Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado swinging.

“He throws strikes with good stuff,” Cora said. “There’s a lot of confidence. We like him in that role.”

— It was the final regular-season game at Fenway Park for Cardinals legend Albert Pujols, who is retiring at the end of the season. Pujols went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts.

— The Red Sox begin a new, three-game series with the Detroit Tigers on Monday at Fenway Park. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET, and you can watch the game, plus an hour of pregame coverage, on NESN.

Thumbnail photo via Paul Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports Images
Boston Red Sox reliver John Schreiber
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