Salty talks winning
Who knows what this Red Sox starting rotation will look like in 2023. Nathan Eovaldi. Michael Wacha. Rich Hill. All free agents. The rookies? There is still 1 1/2 months of this season to earn the ultimate benefit of the doubt.
But for the time being, this version of the Sox starters will do just fine.
Nick Pivetta was the best version of himself in the Red Sox' much-needed 5-3 win over the Pirates Tuesday night, giving up just one hit over seven innings.
It was the latest punctation to a trend that has flipped the script for the barely-keeping-their-heads-above-water-Red Sox.
"He executed pretty much everything,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton told reporters. “I thought the slider was really good. He used the changeup. He was really effective. He came at us and commanded the zone the entire time."
The win moved the Red Sox to four games within a Wild Card spot, sitting one game under .500. If there is a run to be had, it will need to be on the backs of these same starters who was part of the July hole-digging.
As good as the collection of Red Sox starting pitchers have been since August rolled around, they were equally as uneven the month before, owning a major league-worst 7.09 ERA.
So, which is the reality?
Certainly, an optimistic tone could remain considering the emergence of Kutter Crawford and Josh Winckowski, along with Eovaldi's ability to figure it out as he goes. And then there is the possible integration of James Paxton and Brayan Bello in whatever form each might be able to present.
Yes, it was the Pirates. And the uncertainty of what the future - both near and far - still lingers. But for the here and now, this is exactly what the doctor ordered for a team still trying to prove it is fit enough to believe in.