Over the last two weeks, the Red Sox rotation has struggled. Since June 1, they have posted a 4.97 ERA. However, during that stretch, their Opening Day starter Nathan Eovaldi has been one of the few consistent arms. After posting a 4.50 ERA in May, the Houston native has been impressive of late. With the rest of the rotation trying to find their groove, Eovaldi has given Boston quality innings.
In his last seven starts, Eovaldi has posted a 2.93 ERA in 40 innings of work. The former eleventh-round pick has only allowed three home runs this season and has been able to pitch out of trouble. As the Red Sox bullpen has had to cover a lot of innings, Eovaldi has pitched into the sixth inning in five straight starts. With the first two months of the season in the books, he has arguably been Boston’s top starter.
Additionally, the Red Sox righty has only allowed more than two runs twice in his last seven starts. During that span, his ERA has dropped from 4.62 to 3.76. So far this month, Eovaldi has posted a 2.95 ERA, his lowest of the season. When the Red Sox were in dire need of a good start on Monday night, he delivered. In his second-longest start of the season, Eovaldi did not allow a run in 6.2 innings of work against Toronto.
Nathan Eovaldi, 97mph Fastball and 88mph Slider, Overlay. pic.twitter.com/hPkZ3KVbJW
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) June 14, 2021
As the Red Sox hope to end their playoff drought, pitching will be critical. Their depth has been hit hard by injury this season, but there is some hope on the horizon. Tanner Houck is expected to pitch three innings for Worcester on Thursday as he returns from a sore flex muscle. With his return, the Red Sox will have a solid arm in waiting.
Why Eovaldi is key to Boston’s success
Entering the 2021 campaign, Eovaldi’s biggest question mark was his health. So far this season, he has avoided the injured list and gotten better with more innings. Through his first 14 starts of the season, he leads the Red Sox starters in wins, ERA, and innings pitched. His recent stretch has highlighted just how good he has been. While the Red Sox pitching has struggled, Eovaldi has been a steady presence.
Entering play on Wednesday, Boston is two games behind the Rays for first in the AL East. While there is plenty of baseball left, Eovaldi has been an important piece. As the Red Sox look to catch the Rays, they will need him to continue his recent stretch. Over his last seven starts, Eovaldi has stepped up and been at his best when needed the most.
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