Boston Red Sox: Nick Pivetta has the ‘look’ of dominance on the mound

BOSTON, MA - MAY 18: Nick Pivetta #37 of the Boston Red Sox pitches against the Houston Astros during the first inning at Fenway Park on May 18, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - MAY 18: Nick Pivetta #37 of the Boston Red Sox pitches against the Houston Astros during the first inning at Fenway Park on May 18, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images) /

How did the Boston Red Sox pitching staff put Tuesday night’s 13-4 loss behind them?  Well, they turned to their hottest pitching by the name of Nick Pivetta.

Talk about an early season turnaround.  After going winless in his first few starts and looking terrible on the mound, the Sox righty has not only got his groove back on the mound, but he has also been dominant, and the team absolutely needs it.

In the team’s 5-1 victory over the Houston Astros Wednesday night at Fenway Park, Pivetta went the distance.  That’s right, a complete game was thrown in Major League Baseball, as Pivetta give up just one run on two hits through nine innings.

Boston Red Sox pitcher Nick Pivetta tosses team’s first complete game in three seasons

While it would’ve been easy to pull Pivetta late in the game, Red Sox manager Alex Cora said after the game that his pitcher’s eyes was enough for him to know to leave him in to finish what he started.

"“The way he was looking at me, I was like, ‘Let me stay away, he might kill me,” Cora said, via  “He had that look.  He had it.”"

The look of confidence, the look of focus, the look of dominance.  All looks the 2022 Boston Red Sox need to get the season back on track, especially following a game in which their best pitcher gave up 5 home runs in 1 inning against those same Astros.  As bad as Nathan Eovaldi was against Houston, Pivetta was just as dominant.

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Despite that embarrassment, the Red Sox were able to take the series against the Astros because this man Nick Pivetta took the mound and absolutely tossed a gem.  Aided by timely offense, Pivetta had all his pitches working to finish out what he called an important series for his team in a season that has so far been a disappointment.

"“This series, it was really important for all of us,” Pivetta said.  “We all know what happened last year.  To go out and win a series, it’s really important.  They’re a good baseball club, and they were [hot.”"

As it was the Astros who eliminated the Boston Red Sox in the 2021 AL Championship Series, the Red Sox got a little payback this series, but it was really more about getting the team back on track by building confidence that they can compete with the best teams in the league.

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In tossing his second complete game in 111 MLB starts, Pivetta really put in an “amazing” performance against a good offensive team.  At one point in the game, he retired 18 in a row and finished by retiring 27 of the last 28 batters, making the leadoff homer he allowed to Jose Altuve a distant memory.

Also, a distant memory is Pivetta’s 0-4 start through his first five starts.  Since then, he has been the definition of dominance in his last three starts with a 2-0 record and 0.82 ERA.  In his words, it has been as simple as getting into a rhythm on the mound.

"“It’s my mechanics, it’s my timing, just that, to be honest with you,” Pivetta said when asked about his turnaround on the mound.  “I had a lot of people help me out, a lot of the coaching staff really dug deep, a lot of the KinaTrax [technology], and they helped me out.  I had AC texting me at 1 o’clock in the morning, so it’s been a really good group effort.  Getting into a rhythm allows me to keep my legs underneath myself and just let the ball ride through the zone.”"

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If the Boston Red Sox do manage to save the season, fans and the team may look back at this stretch by Nick Pivetta as a turning point and they may look back at this Houston Astros series as a spark to more winning baseball.

Let’s hope.