Comebacker knocks Pivetta from game after 3

September 3rd, 2022

BOSTON -- has been far and away the iron man of Boston’s pitching rotation this season, making a team-high 27 starts. Rich Hill is a distant second with 20.

But Pivetta’s impressive durability took a hit on Friday night at Fenway Park when he was struck by a 91.4 mph grounder off the bat of Leody Taveras.

Pivetta gathered the baseball and awkwardly threw to first for the third out in the top of the third inning of Boston’s 9-1 rout over the Rangers, but he then hobbled off the mound with what was diagnosed as a contusion in his left calf.  

“He should be OK,” said Red Sox manager Alex Cora. “Just got him on a good spot there, and the bullpen did an amazing job.”

While the Red Sox hope that Pivetta can make his next start, the way he limped to his press conference and around the clubhouse made that seem less than certain.

“I don’t know [when I’ll be back],” said Pivetta. “I have no idea. I would assume, hopefully soon, but I think we’ll get more information in a couple of days.”

Tyler Danish, recalled from Triple-A Worcester prior to the game, replaced Pivetta in the top of the fourth.

In what has been an inconsistent season for Pivetta, the righty is 9-10 with a 4.37 ERA.

The most consistent thing about Pivetta is that he has posted his turn in the rotation for the entire season, which no other Boston starter has been able to do.

“I take really great pride in that,” said Pivetta. “I prepare really, really well in the offseason. I have a good offseason program which is really positive. Also, the staff here has helped me out a lot, the training staff has done a great job, the strength staff, [pitching coach Dave Bush] and Cora have done a great job of managing me and how I've been going. I think all in all, it’s been really positive, and I look forward to continuing that streak and continuing to get on the mound.”

Pivetta has logged 150 1/3 innings while walking 56 and striking out 145.

The Red Sox got only two starts out of Chris Sale this season, as the lefty opened the season on the injured list with a stress fracture in his right rib cage and then broke his left pinkie at Yankee Stadium on July 17. Any chance Sale had of pitching again in 2022 ended when the club announced on Aug. 9 that he fell off his bicycle and fractured his right wrist.

The club had hoped James Paxton could be a nice late-season addition coming off Tommy John surgery. But the veteran lefty suffered a left lat strain in the first inning of his first Minor League rehab start on Aug. 18.

Nathan Eovaldi, viewed as the team’s ace entering the season, is currently on the injured list for the second time this season. The flame-throwing righty has made 18 starts.

The rotation currently consists of veterans Pivetta, Michael Wacha (who also has had two IL stints this season), Rich Hill (missed all of July) and rookies Brayan Bello and Kutter Crawford.