It has been one extreme to the other for Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Nick Pivetta this season.
Pivetta struggled out of the gates before turning things around and looking like one of the best pitchers in all of baseball through May and June. Now, the right-hander has turned back into a pumpkin.
The New York Yankees roughed up Pivetta for seven earned runs in 4 1/3 innings Saturday night as the Bronx Bombers cruised to a resounding 14-1 win over the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. Pivetta surrendered seven hits and he pointed at his lack of control — he walked three batters — as a major issue in his outing.
“Lack of command, got behind in a lot of counts,” Pivetta told reporters, per The Boston Globe’s Julian McWilliams. “The rest was history.”
Pivetta’s last three outings are ones he would certainly like to forget about, as he allowed 20 earned runs and 23 hits in 10 1/3 innings. That’s a stark contrast to an incredible stretch from Pivetta from May 7 to June 29 when he went 8-1 and let up just 16 runs in 74 innings.
The righty has paid a price for his inability to keep hitters off-balanced as the Yankees hit two of their four home runs Saturday off of him.
The good news for Pivetta is he’ll have an extended period of time thanks to the All-Star break to try to correct his mistakes. And while the Red Sox have recently received reinforcements with their pitching staff, they need Pivetta to look like a version of himself from May and June with Boston looking to make a playoff push.
Here are more notes from Saturday’s Yankees-Red Sox game:
— Red Sox manager Alex Cora is looking to quickly turn the page after getting blown out in the second game of the three-game set.
“We’ve got a chance to win the series,” Cora told reporters, per MassLive’s Chris Cotillo. “It really doesn’t matter. They kicked our butt tonight. Just got to be ready. We’ve got Chris (Sale) on the mound and it’s the last game of the first part of the season.”
— The Red Sox might be kicking themselves for not picking up Matt Carpenter, who was a free agent after the Texas Rangers released him from their minor league system in late May. The 36-year-old was a one-man wrecking crew Saturday as he belted two three-run homers and finished with seven RBIs.
“It’s pretty special,” Carpenter told Ken Rosenthal on the FOX broadcast following the game. “You never know when the last time you’re going to put this uniform on as in on what day that is, and I felt like I might have had that a couple times this year. To be here and to be playing for this team, in this city, for this franchise, I don’t take it for granted.”
— Former Red Sox pitcher Ryan Weber is now wearing pinstripes. He threw three scoreless innings of relief while yielding just one hit and one walk.
— After Rafael Devers homered in the first inning and Xander Bogaerts followed up with a single, Jameson Taillon and Weber combined to retire 22 Red Sox batters in a row.
— The Red Sox are now 12-25 against American League East opponents this season. With the loss, they have dropped to fourth place in the wild card standings.
— The Red Sox and Yankees square off in the rubber match of the three-game series, which is also the final game before the All-Star break, on Sunday at Yankee Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. ET, and you can catch the game, plus an hour of pregame coverage, on NESN.