The night Nick Pivetta offered the Red Sox (and himself) a glimmer of hope


After a lot of bad days -- and I mean a lot -- this was a good one for Chaim Bloom and the Red Sox.

Nick Pivetta actually looked like part of the solution.

The pitcher Bloom had long been intrigued by, and finally able to secure via a late August trade with the Phillies, was everything he wasn't when leaving Philadelphia ... and everything the Red Sox thought he could be.

By the time the second inning of the Red Sox' 8-3 win over the Orioles concluded Tuesday night at Fenway Park Pivetta had already displayed the kind of stuff so many had drooled over, including his former team. But the difference was this time he was getting results, rattling off four straight strikeouts while throwing pitches hitters were missing by almost a foot.

When it was all said and done, Pivetta had given up just one run and four hits over five innings, striking out eight. He also got 14 whiffs among his 96 pitches, as's Ian Browne points out, tying him for the most in a single game by a Red Sox pitcher this season.

What it did was offer at least a little hope for a pitching staff has had so little of it this year.

First there was Tanner Houck. Now Pivetta.

"Yeah, great to see, no doubt," said Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke. “You look forward to seeing some new guys come, and when you see them start this way, it’s no doubt you’re looking at next year and what can happen and the possibilities. I know Chaim and his crew will look at that and figure where everybody fits in.

"But the more arms you have, [the better]. It is vital to have depth in your starting staff because you know they're not going to make it through the season with five guys. So I think it’s really important, and really important down the road for the future trying to get some younger guys and hopefully we have them here for a long time."

And while there is still a long way to go, with Pivetta getting the start in the Red Sox' final game of the year against the Braves, the Red Sox' feather in their cap is the process that was taken to get to this point.

It started with the interest. Then came the scouting. Then the actual trade. And finally the development.

The interest: "Our interest in him last month was not a surprise to them," the Red Sox' Chief Baseball Officer told regarding conversations with the Phillies.

The scouting: "There were some things where I felt like he needed to make some changes to try and get back to to try and be that guy because he has a chance to, no question," added Red Sox scout Dana LeVangie.

The trade: Brandon Workman just happened to give up a walk-off home run Tuesday night, pushing his ERA to 6.92 ERA with the Phillies while Heath Hembree has been sidelined by an elbow injury.

The development: “It was great. I think we used all the pitches. It was very surprising with that slider. We used it a lot today. It was real sharp. The fastball up, the breaking ball down worked a lot," said Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez.

It was just one start, but considering where both Pivetta and the Red Sox have come from they will take it.

The words of jockey Red Pollard in the movie Seabiscuit may have been apropos here (as long as you replace "horse" with "pitcher"): "You know, everybody thinks we found this broken-down horse and fixed him, but we didn't. He fixed us. Every one of us. And I guess in a way we kinda fixed each other too."

We will see.

Chevy Shattering Perceptions Game Note

Pivetta allowed one run over five innings while giving up four hits, three walks and striking out eight in his Red Sox debut.