OAKLAND — Do you get déjà vu? Nick Pivetta just might.
The right-hander turned in a start that is not easily replicable on Saturday afternoon, shutting down the A’s in seven innings to propel the Red Sox to an 8-0 victory and a series win.
But get this: Pivetta has one other career start against the A’s, which came about a year ago. It was practically identical to his performance this weekend. Here are his final lines from each game:
July 4, 2021: 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 10 K
June 4, 2022: 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K
It’s not surprising to Pivetta. It’s just part of the total resurgence he has experienced since a disappointing start to the season — a stretch that feels increasingly distant each time Pivetta takes the mound.
Pivetta began 2022 by going 0-4 in his first five games. In just 20 2/3 innings, he surrendered 18 runs, all earned, for a 7.84 ERA.
He has looked like a completely different pitcher in the most recent five games entering Saturday.
Compared with the first half of his season, Pivetta’s strikeouts are up, his walks are down and he has given the Red Sox the length they so desperately need given how unreliable their bullpen has been. All in all, Pivetta went 4-0, giving up just six runs in 34 innings for a 1.59 ERA in the five starts before Saturday’s game.
And Pivetta added to that with his latest gem. He has now thrown six or more innings in each of his previous six starts, extending a career high. He is the first Red Sox pitcher to achieve that streak since 2019, when Rick Porcello tossed at least six innings in seven consecutive starts.