The Boston Red Sox acquired Nathan Eovaldi last week to strengthen the depth of the starting rotation, add another veteran right-hander who can log innings and help Boston win ball games. All it cost Dave Dombrowski was Triple-A LHP Jalen Beeks who was subsequently shipped to the Tampa Bay Rays.
In his debut, Eovaldi did not disappoint tossing seven shutout frames with a very economical 82 pitches and zero walks as the Red Sox blanked the Minnesota Twins 3-0 to improve to a major-league best record of 74-33. Eovaldi did not walk a single batter and only allowed four hits while striking out five over his seven innings of work. The 28-year-old owns a 3.80 ERA and 0.94 WHIP with 58 strikeouts across 64 frames of work this season combined between Boston and Tampa.
“He was very good. Good mix of pitches, cutters, four-seamers, breaking ball. He was very efficient. (I) took him out (after seven), he hasn’t pitched in a while. What a great way to start his career with the Red Sox,” skipper Alex Cora said.
“I felt like I had all my pitches really working today,” Eovaldi said. “I was able to mix in the curveball a lot more than I have in the past. The fastball and cutter were there. The slider felt really good and I threw some decent splits today, as well.”
J.D. Martinez drove in all-three runs on the day at the plate against great right-hander Jose Berrios and the Sox bullpen shut the door on the Twins with Matt Barnes throwing a scoreless eight and Craig Kimbrel recording save No. 33 in the ninth.
Boston opens a two-game set with the Philadelphia Phillies at home tonight before rival New York Yankees come into town this weekend for a four-game set. Eovaldi is scheduled to take the ball on Saturday afternoon against New York’s newest acquisition J.A. Happ who also had a solid debut yesterday. Big week ahead for the Sox as they can put some distance between their already 5.5 game lead in the division with a strong weekend against the Aaron Judge-less Bronx Bombers.
Nathan Eovaldi dazzled in his Boston debut and has already vindicated Dave Dombrowski for making the trade.
Follow Frank Pimentel on Twitter: @FrankBostonTank