Boston Red Sox: 3 unsung heroes through the first half of the season

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - JULY 04: Nick Pivetta #37 of the Boston Red Sox pitches against the Oakland Athletics in the bottom of the fifth inning at RingCentral Coliseum on July 04, 2021 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - JULY 04: Nick Pivetta #37 of the Boston Red Sox pitches against the Oakland Athletics in the bottom of the fifth inning at RingCentral Coliseum on July 04, 2021 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Boston Red Sox  Nick Pivetta (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

Boston Red Sox Unsung Hero No. 1: Nick Pivetta

What a whirlwind past 12 months it has been for Nick Pivetta. Just last season, Pivetta was sporting a 15.88 ERA for the Philadelphia Phillies, and was eventually traded to Boston. Now with the first half of the season nearly over, Pivetta has developed into one of Boston’s best starting pitchers.

The potential was clear the moment Pivetta arrived in Boston last season. He won both his starts, posted a 1.80 ERA, and struck out 13 batters over just 10 innings of work. He entered Spring Training in a battle for the fifth spot in the rotation with prospect Tanner Houck, and was eventually able to earn his way onto the roster.

It’s been smooth sailing ever since. Pivetta has been arguably Boston’s most consistent arm this season, and might have been an All Star had he avoided getting roughed up in a few of his outings in June.

In just the first half of the season, Pivetta has already gone five plus innings without giving up a hit twice, including a recent outing against the Tampa Bay Rays where he went 6.2 innings without giving up a hit before he was ultimately removed from the game. He also outdueled the MLB’s best pitcher in Jacob deGrom earlier this season, and proved that he has what it takes to stick with the best of them.

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His most impressive outing may have been his most recent however. With the series on the line against the Oakland Athletics, Pivetta was absolutely phenomenal, going seven innings while giving up only two hits, and striking out 10. The Red Sox would end up winning the game 1-0, thanks in large part to Pivetta’s outing.

Nathan Eovaldi will get most of the credit for leading the rotation, but Pivetta has been by his side the entire season. The Red Sox starting rotation was largely expected to be a weakness coming into the season, but they have been outstanding this season. And a big reason for that is the pitching of Nick Pivetta.