Nick Pivetta and the Boston Red Sox Welcome the American League Champion Rays, Look to End the Three Game Skid

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The reigning American League champions will come to Fenway Park for a three game series.  The Red Sox are coming off a disappointing start to the season after being swept by the Orioles in three games. 

The Red Sox were looking for Garrett Richards to make his team debut and end the early season skid.  Instead, Richards was rocked by the Orioles offense and he only lasted 2.1 innings in the loss.  The Orioles Cedric Mullins torched Red Sox pitching all series long, he went 9-for-13 and 5-for-5 on Sunday. 


Nick Pivetta on the mound last season against the Orioles / Michael Dwyer - AP

Nick Pivetta will make his first start of the season on Monday. Pivetta was serviceable this spring, limiting baserunners through a solid 9 innings, and his ERA sits at 3.00. 


Last season, the Red Sox acquired Pivetta in a four player trade that sent closer Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree to Philadelphia.  The Red Sox sent Pivetta to their alternate training site to get some work in before calling him up. 


The new Red Sox starter was impressive in two starts to end the season.  He made two starts for the Red Sox, 10 innings pitched and two runs given up. 


Pivetta was recalled on September 22nd versus Baltimore.  He went five innings, giving up one run, four hits, striking out eight and walking three.  He was the first Red Sox pitcher to make his team debut with eight strikeouts.  The only other player to do that was former Red Sox lefty David Price.

On September 27th against Atlanta, he went five innings giving up one run, four hits.  He would also strikeout five and walk two.  In both starts with the Red Sox he allowed one run in the first inning and then went scoreless the next four innings of work.


The Rays attempted to acquire Pivetta last season prior to his trade to Boston.  According to Peter Gammons of The Athletic, the Rays “tried real hard” to land Pivetta.  The Rays front office views Pivetta as another Tyler Glasnow, who The Red Sox will see on Tuesday night.  Gammons wrote, “Philadelphia organizational people think he (Pivetta) simply needs a change, the Rays tried hard to beat Bloom to him; ‘we think he can be another (Tyler) Glasnow,’ said a Rays official.”


The Red Sox will now welcome the Rays to Boston desperately trying to get their first win of the season. 


The Rays took two-of-three from the Marlins in their opening series.  Austin Meadows had the game winning hit and RBI on Opening Day to earn a 1-0 win.  They would need a three-run home run in the ninth from the bat of Joey Wendle to earn a 6-4 win on Friday night.  The Marlins would tie their series and rally to beat the Rays 12-7 on Saturday night. 


Rays pitcher Michael Wacha on the mound during a Spring Training game / Courtesy of Will Vragovic 

On Monday night, Pivetta will oppose Michael Wacha.  The veteran 29-year-old right-hander, is entering his first year with the Rays.  Last season he underperformed with the Mets going 1-4 with a 6.88 ERA in eight games.  Wacha was solid this spring with a 0.60 ERA, 0.73 WHIP, .176 BAA and 12:2 K:BB in 15 innings across five appearances.  The way The Red Sox offense looks right now, they will hope the Wacha of last year shows up versus the one from the Grapefruit League. 


Despite the rough opening series, manager Alex Cora is pleased with what he saw this weekend.  "I've been saying this all along, you know, we have a good team but we've got stuff to do and stuff to work on and we've got to get better," said Cora. 


"We've got to show up, we've got to show up tomorrow (Monday) and try and get better," said Cora. 



Follow Chris on Twitter @chrishenrique

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Boston Sports Syndicate: Nick Pivetta and the Boston Red Sox Welcome the American League Champion Rays, Look to End the Three Game Skid
Nick Pivetta and the Boston Red Sox Welcome the American League Champion Rays, Look to End the Three Game Skid
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