Nick Pivetta threw 6.2 no-hit innings versus the Rays in the Red Sox’s 1-0 loss Thursday night, striking out eight batters while walking two.
But after retiring Yandy Diaz on a 6-3 groundout, and with Austin Meadows on second after Michael Chavis’ error on a routine groundball, manager Alex Cora decided to turn to Josh Taylor to finish the seventh, as Pivetta was at exactly 100 pitches.
The no-no would be broken up in the eighth as Darwinzon Hernandez would let up a double to Kevin Kiermaier, as one of two hits the Rays were able to record. But it would be enough, as the Red Sox were unable to get a run across the plate, getting just four hits as a team.
“I did not want to come out,” Pivetta said. “But it’s not about me – it’s about the game. It’s about winning baseball games and that’s what’s most important.”
The right-hander threw 100 pitches (58 strikes), 45 fastballs, 29 knuckle curves, 24 sliders, and two changeups.
“I thought my curveball was really sharp early,” said Pivetta. “It was spinning really nice. I had a good fastball. Just trying to keep them off balance. Keeping them off balance, I think that was the biggest thing – mixing my curveball, mixing my fastball, mixing my slider when I need to, threw a couple changeups tonight which was really good – I just kept them off balance really well.”
Pivetta, in 15 starts this season, has given up 37 runs (36 earned), 64 hits, 10 homers, and 38 walks through 81 innings to give him a 4.00 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP. He’s struck out batters 27.6% of the time, while limiting opposing batters to a .213 batting average. Pivetta lowered his ERA from 4.28 to 4.00 Thursday, and was issued a no-decision keeping his record at 6-3.
The Canadian-born hurler struck out the side to start his outing, which is what he says set the tone for the rest of the outing.
“I think I set the tone early,” the 28-year-old remarked. “I think it just starts with going out there, commanding the strike zone early, getting my pitches over, and setting the tone.”
Thursday night marked Pivetta’s longest outing of the season, as he has gone six innings six times this season, but never into the seventh inning. Many fans were frustrated over Pivetta being taken out so early. But the right-hander believes manager Alex Cora made the right call by taking him out with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, and him sitting at exactly 100 pitches.
“To be honest with you it was the right call on AC’s (Alex Cora’s) part – it made the most sense,” Pivetta said. “We’re just all about winning series, and it didn’t happen today but it was the right call by him.”
Nick Pivetta is in line to start on Tuesday versus the Royals, at home. The righty went five innings last time out against the Royals, which was his previous start. He allowed three runs on six hits, getting issued the loss.
(Photo of Nick Pivetta: Chris O’Meara / Associated Press)