The MLB season is quickly coming to an end and the Boston Red Sox control their own destiny. At this time of this blog, the Red Sox hold the first Wild Card spot in the American League. So that would mean if it holds up, the Red Sox will host the Wild Card playoff game at Fenway Park. This leads to an interesting question. Who should be the starting pitcher for the Red Sox in the one game playoff? We talked about it on Into the Triangle earlier in the week. Some said Chris Sale. But what about Nathan Eovaldi? Could he and SHOULD he be the guy that gets the ball that night? Let’s discuss!
Chris Sale Isn’t Ready
This is weird to type out. But I don’t think Chris Sale is ready to pitch the Wild Card game. He hasn’t gone more than five innings in any of his starts since returning in August from Tommy John. Nathan Eovaldi has pitched well into the seventh inning many times for the Red Sox in 2021. I love Sale just as much as anyone. But let’s be honest, could he last six or seven innings right now if need be? Personally, I don’t know about that one.
Nathan Eovaldi’s Home Numbers with the Red Sox
Nathan Eovaldi is a significantly better pitcher for the Red Sox at home than he is on the road. At home, Eovaldi is 6-3 with a 2.99 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP. This is much better than Eovaldi’s road record of 4-5 with a 4.62 ERA and 1.35 WHIP. This is huge for the Red Sox. Say they get in the Wild Card game, but have to go to Toronto. Do we trust Eovaldi fully then? Probably not! So if the Red Sox can secure home field for the Wild Card game with Eovaldi on the mound, I do like their chances even more.
Should Nathan Eovaldi start the Wild Card game for the Red Sox? Yes, he’s earned it. Do I think he will? Probably. Plus, that could work out well if you win. Then you’d set up a series with the Rays with Chris Sale on the mound game one in Tropicana. Plus, you could get Eovaldi back for game three at Fenway Park. This could work out well for the Red Sox, so long as they take care of business for the last nine games of the season.
(Featured image credit to bostonglobe.com)
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~Al Nahigian (@BigAl2793 on Twitter)