Pitching Preview: Nathan Eovaldi

After the (latest) David Price disaster, it’s easy to be nervous and pessimistic about this series. After all, it wasn’t just Price who failed us on Saturday; the lineup and bullpen aren’t exactly doing their jobs, either.

But starting pitching is especially key, because it’s one of the few things the Sox can control. It’s not like the bullpen will magically, drastically improve, but our starters have been incredibly strong for the majority of the season, and we’ll need that now if we want a fighting chance of making it out of the ALDS for the first time in three years.

Nathan Eovaldi gets the ball tonight for Game 3 in the Bronx. Originally, Rick Porcello was supposed to start this game, and Eovaldi tomorrow, but Cora made the switch after Ricky had to make an emergency appearance in Game 1 and they lost Saturday night’s 6-2.

So let’s take a look at Nathan Eovaldi, a former Yankee, and comebacker from not one, but two Tommy John surgeries. Talk about the resilient polar opposite of the fragile Price.

Eovaldi was 6-7 with a 3.81 ERA in 21 starts during the regular season.  He’s 1-1 with a 1.93 ERA in four starts against the Yanks this year. Bronx bats have a career .239 batting average against him, as opposed to the .318 they’re hitting against Price. And for those of you saying the stats are skewed because Price has been with the Sox all season, compared to mid-season acquisition Eovaldi, both pitchers made four starts against the Yanks, and Eovaldi actually threw 23.1 innings to Price’s 15.2. Eovaldi has allowed one homer to Bombers this year; Price gave up two to them in less than two innings on Saturday.

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If we can get five or six solid innings out of Eovaldi tonight, this team has a chance.  Yankee Stadium is a little league park, hitter’s paradise, so the Sox bats will have to rock the short porch. But I’m hoping for the best out of this supposed “best team in baseball.”

This is Nathan Eovaldi’s first postseason start. But I’m going to pray that the old adage “better the devil you know than the devil you don’t” isn’t true, because David Price is now 0-10 in his career as a postseason starter, a feat never before accomplished by a pitcher in the history of MLB. So at this point, how could anyone possibly be worse? Baseball gods, don’t answer that.

Photo: Over The Monster

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