A number of former Phillies are in the postseason with their current team. Nobody was put in a bigger spot than Nick Pivetta.
The former Phillies starter (and reliever) was scheduled to start Monday’s Game 4 for the Boston Red Sox, but manager Alex Cora moved his outing up a day. Entering the game in the 10th, Pivetta delivered in the biggest spot of his career. He threw four shutout innings, walked one hitter, struck out seven and allowed three hits. He became the first Red Sox reliever to throw at least four shutout innings and strike out seven batters or more in the postseason since Pedro Martinez in 1999.
Red Sox catcher Christian Vázquez won the game in the 13th inning with a two-run walk-off home run.
“I just gave it my all, to be honest with you,” Pivetta said after the game. “I just competed with the strike zone, competed with those guys, and my energy just shows what this means to me and means to our team. It’s really exciting. It’s fun to be here. It’s a moment in time for me and for our team.”
Sunday also marked the second time in Pivetta’s career he allowed zero runs, struck out at least seven batters and walked no more than a batter, the first being his June 2, 2019 outing against the Dodgers when he was with the Phillies.
Pivetta’s outing wasn’t free of controversy, however. In the 13th inning, Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier doubled to right field with a runner on first base. The ball landed on the warning track, hit the wall and then bounced off Red Sox right fielder Hunter Renfroe and over the wall. The play was correctly ruled an automatic double and the runner at first Yandy Díaz was sent back to third. Pivetta struck out Mike Zunino to strand the runners. It’s safe to say that the Rays are not happy with the MLB rulebook.
Pivetta was dealt to Boston last season, along with pitching prospect Connor Seabold for Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree in what could be one of the most lopsided trade deadline deals in Phillies history.
The Canadian-born right hander wasn’t the only former Phillie to pitch in extra innings during Sunday’s game. David Robertson, who threw only 6 2/3 innings for the Phillies in 2019, pitched two shutout inning for the Rays in the 10th and 11th innings. Robertson signed a two-year, $23 million contract with Philadelphia prior to the 2019 season. Austin Davis, who was drafted in the 12th round by the Phillies in 2014, got the final out in the seventh for Boston.
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