Red Sox Notes: Nick Pivetta’s Turnaround Promising For Future

Red Sox Notes: Nick Pivetta’s Turnaround Promising For Future
Red Sox Notes: Nick Pivetta’s Turnaround Promising For Future

Red Sox Notes: Nick Pivetta’s Turnaround Promising For Future

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Red Sox manager Alex Cora certainly has enjoyed his front-row seat to Nick Pivetta’s in-season turnaround. It would be hard not to.

After getting relegated to the bullpen following a rough start to the season, Pivetta found success as a bulk reliever before moving back into the starting rotation this month.

Pivetta kept his forward progress going Saturday with a sensational outing in a 1-0 loss to the Chicago White Sox at Fenway Park. The right-hander tossed seven scoreless innings, allowing just three hits and one walk while striking out seven.

“It’s been fun to watch, especially the last two-and-a-half months, three months,” Cora told reporters, as seen on NESN postgame coverage. “He likes to compete. Always available. That was tough conditions. That was really good.”

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Pivetta’s recent performances are massively different compared to the beginning of the season. In his last three starts, Pivetta has surrendered just five runs in 18 2/3 innings while posting a 0.70 WHIP and a 23-to-2 strike-to-walk ratio, according to Red Sox senior manager of media relations and baseball information J.P. Long. He had a stretch from mid-April to mid-May in which he let up 23 runs in 24 2/3 innings.

But rebounding in a big way for Pivetta, who also notched a save this month for good measure, has done a ton for his psyche going forward.

“I feel super confident,” Pivetta told reporters, as seen on NESN postgame coverage. “I still have a ton to work on. I still got to be more consistent in the zone, getting in to guys better. Being able to put things together slowly has benefited me a lot, and the way I’ve been able to contribute has helped a lot, too.”

While Pivetta has one more start to make this season, Cora is looking toward the future, too.

Pivetta seemed like he was pitching himself out of a role early in the season, but now he’s seen as an important piece moving forward.

“I think the struggles early on taught him a lot,” Cora said. “He learned a lot this year. He’s in a better position going into the offseason knowing that he can compete at this level. The hybrid thing, the opener, he doesn’t need an opener. Let’s see what the offseason brings. I’m excited about him. I think he finally has put it together.”

Here are more notes from Saturday’s Red Sox-White Sox game:

— Red Sox reliever Josh Winckowski ran into some tough luck as Luis Robert Jr. hit a pitch off him only 311 feet to right field in the top of the ninth, but it still went for a home run. It served as the only run of the game.

“Part of the park gives and takes,” Winckowski told reporters, as seen on NESN postgame coverage. “I’m sure there are some opposing pitchers at times that felt a little cheated or whatever you would say. It gives and it takes.”

— It continues to be a learning experience for Red Sox prospect Ceddanne Rafaela. He came up to bat in the bottom of the ninth with two outs and the tying and winning runs on base, but White Sox reliever Bryan Shaw pumped a 96 mph fastball by the 23-year-old to end the game.

— Old friend Andrew Benintendi earned his first start of the series Saturday. The 2018 World Series champion went 1-for-4 and showed he can still play the Green Monster by throwing out Justin Turner when he tried to stretch a hit into a double.

— Cora and Pivetta both gave a shout out to grounds crew, who dealt with consistent rain throughout the contest.

“Kudos to (senior director of grounds) Dave (Mellor). He did an outstanding job with the field again,” Cora said. “He’s amazing.”

— The Red Sox and White Sox close out their three-game series from Fenway Park on Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. ET, and you can watch the game, plus an hour of pregame coverage, on NESN.

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Red Sox Notes: Nick Pivetta’s Turnaround Promising For Future

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