The Nick Pivetta breakout campaign is officially back on!
After a rocky start to the campaign that saw the Canadian right-hander demoted to AAA, Nick Pivetta has now registered back to back stellar outings. Last week he went 6 scoreless frames against a powerhouse Dodgers team and could have easily gone at least another inning, maybe two given how low his pitch count was. The only reason he ended up exiting that contest was because his spot came up with men on in a one run game.
Pivetta then built on that Dodgers outing today with what was his best career start to date. After allowing a run in the first, Pivetta retired 17 straight before surrendering a couple hits in the late innings. No damage was done, however, as Pivetta cruised to his first career complete game. All told, he struck out six, walked none and allowed six scattered hits through 9. He improved to 4-1 on the year and has his ERA below 5; impressive given where it was.
Then – as if it wasn’t an awesome day already – Pivetta said what we were all thinking post-game. “We’re here and we’re fuckin doing great” he said to Murph.
Couldn’t have worded it any better honestly, considering the fact that the Phillies have the second best record in the National League.
Pivetta was of course a preseason breakout candidate. Both nationally and locally, an incredibly high K/9 rate in 2018 provided plenty of optimism. It was thought by many that he would take the next step this season.
Command issues hit him hard early though. That, along with increased pressure on the team as a whole, gave Pivetta a much shorter leash than anticipated. Vince Velasquez always seemed like the primary bullpen candidate and while he’s there now, it wasn’t before Pivetta’s demotion.
That said, all of this appears to be in the rear-view mirror as Pivetta is pitching with extreme confidence right now. He’s upped his work rate significantly, which typically means a pitcher is confident. Nola was one of the quickest working pitchers in the league last year and was one of the slowest this past April. I’m not saying there’s a correlation, just pointing it out.
Anyways, Pivetta is working so quickly that today’s game clocked in as the shortest of the year for the Phils. Since speeding up pace of play seems to be Rob Manfred’s prerogative, it’s safe to say that he loves /ourguy right now.
The 26 year-old righty will hope to expand upon his success next week in Atlanta. The series will mark the beginning of a marathon stretch of NL East games that will have monumental implications on the playoff picture.
Jay Bruce Has Turned Into Babe Ruth
Another notable development during today’s game was the continued hot streak of Jay Bruce. Since being picked up off the scrap heap from the Mariners, Bruce has driven in 11 runs in five games while clubbing four home-runs.
No Phillies player has ever driven in 11 runs through their first five games while also hitting four homers through their first four.
Seattle will be covering almost all of Bruce’s salary and the trade couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. McCutchen is of course done for the season and the team announced just today that Adam Haseley has been placed on the IL. The three-time All Star has been a clutch addition to say the least.
The Phillies will be going for the sweep tomorrow at 1:05 on NBCSN.