Red Sox Notes: Alex Cora Saw Nick Pivetta At His ‘Best’ Vs. Blue Jays

Pivetta delivered a quality start


May 3, 2023

With the way the offense of the Boston Red Sox performed in Wednesday’s 8-3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park, Nick Pivetta’s showing on the mound could have gone under the radar.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora made sure it didn’t, though.

Cora had high praise for the veteran right-hander, who delivered a quality start by tossing six innings in which he allowed three earned runs on five hits while striking out six and walking one. In fact, Cora believed that it was Pivetta at his best in a Red Sox uniform.

“We’ve been working a few things and he was able to execute against a team that did an outstanding job against him last year,” Cora told reporters, as seen on NESN postgame coverage. “Just the mix of pitches, you saw it, it was a little bit different. I think the intent with the fastball has been great. His start in Lakeland against the Tigers, I think that’s when he (was) like, ‘This is what I want to do.’

“That was one of the best I’ve seen him. I know he pitched well in Tampa and in Oakland and all that stuff two years ago. But that one as far as game planning and what he wanted to do against a tough lineup, that’s one of his best outings.”

Pivetta worked around solo home runs from Daulton Varsho and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in the second and third innings, respectively, to go along with an untimely balk to keep Toronto’s vaunted offense at bay. He threw 62 of his 94 pitches for strikes and completed his outing with a 1-2-3 sixth inning — the only time he set the Blue Jays down in order.

“I think they’re a really aggressive lineup,” Pivetta told reporters, as seen on NESN postgame coverage. “I was able to execute my off-speed early and then use my fastball later. And then flip-flop that around. I mean, it’s pitching at the end of the day. It’s what I’m here to do. I’m just not here to throw. I’m here to pitch and execute all pitches in the zone.”

Pivetta certainly did just that, much to the approval of his manager, to improve to 2-2 on the season.

“Excellent,” Cora said. “Mixed up his pitches, throw a lot of sliders. Had them off-balanced. He did an outstanding job.”

Here are more notes from Wednesday’s Red Sox-Blue Jays game:

— Kutter Crawford pitched a clean eighth inning, but it was an unwelcomed sight for the Red Sox when he left the game with one out in the final frame due to an apparent injury. The Red Sox said the injury was left hamstring tightness.

“We’ll know probably tomorrow what’s going on,” Cora said.

— The defense wasn’t especially sharp in the contest. Rafael Devers and Connor Wong each recorded an error, but the Blue Jays outdid Boston by making an eye-popping four errors.

— Boston finished with 15 hits as every member of the lineup collected at least one base knock. Masataka Yoshida, Justin Turner, Triston Casas, Kiké Hernández and Enmanuel Valdez all had multi-hit games.

— The Red Sox struggled mightily against division opponents a year ago and with their third straight win over the Blue Jays, they matched the total number of victories they had versus Toronto all of last season.

“They kicked our butt last year,” Cora said. “The reason we didn’t make it to the playoffs last year was because of them. … They did an outstanding job against us. They pitched, they hit, they did a lot of good things. I’m glad that we won the series already.”

— The Red Sox look to complete a four-game sweep of the Blue Jays on Thursday. First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 6:10 p.m. ET and you can watch the game, plus an hour of pregame coverage, on NESN.

Thumbnail photo via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images
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