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Nathan Eovaldi: Worth the Risk

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After acquiring Eovaldi at the deadline, he has proven to be a great acquisition.

Divisional Round - Boston Red Sox v New York Yankees - Game Three Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

The Red Sox’ bats ignited in last nights 16-1 victory against their nemesis, and Nathan Eovaldi had a terrific outing. After deciding to move Eovaldi’s start up a day, Alex Cora should also be commended for his great managerial skills.

Eovaldi pitched seven innings, allowing only one run and five hits while striking out five and allowing no walks. According to the Red Sox twitter page, Alex Cora said Eovaldi was “outstanding, efficient, great stuff from the get-go.”

In his last couple of outings during the regular season, he didn’t look so good. What made him pitch so well last night? Is Dave Dombrowski a genius?

It seems as though Eovaldi has never been too good during the regular season, his ERA is 4.16 through his seven year career. In three starts against the Yankees as a member of the Red Sox, Eovaldi allowed just one run and six hits through August and September.

The 28-year-old has shown some great pitching against the Yankees in the past. Throughout his career, the Yanks have taken 92 at-bats and have only recorded 22 hits. They’ve only hit one home-run off Evo, and have only recorded four doubles and two triples. He’s struck out 19 and has only walked four. All pretty good stuff if you ask me.

In last night’s victory, the right-hander threw first-pitch strikes to 21 of 26 batters. He wasn’t at all intimidated by the big stage and came out throwing smoke for the Red Sox, registering many pitches above 100 mph.

It was certainly worth the risk to have Eovaldi start game three as he ended up helping the Sox get a much-needed victory on the road in Yankee stadium. I feel like we haven’t seen such a dominant performance from both the pitching and offense in a long time. Many fans were skeptical of Eovaldi when he first came to Boston, but those fans certainly can’t be skeptical anymore after a great outing.

Its almost as though Dombrowski knew the Red Sox would matchup with the Yankees this postseason, so he went out and acquired someone he knew could dominate them. He deserves a lot of credit after facing criticism for not acquiring a top reliever at the trade deadline, though the latter can certainly still come back to bite him.

Both Chris Sale and David Price pitched seven innings combined this postseason while Evo pitched seven innings himself. If that doesn’t say dominance then I don’t know what does. With Price headed to the bullpen to become a relief pitcher at least in the short-term, will Eovaldi become second in the rotation? He very well could be if Rick Porcello doesn’t have a good outing on Tuesday night.

If the Red Sox get past the Yankees, I would go with Eovaldi as your two man behind Chris Sale. It is worth the risk to play him once again against the Houston Astros to see what he is really capable of.

Evo’s record against the Houston Astros? Yeah, its pretty good. In 101 career at-bats for the Astros, they’ve only recorded 28 hits. Only one of those hits was a double, no triples, and six homers, the rest have been singles. He’s struck out 20 and only walked five in those at-bats. I would 100 percent trust Eovaldi to pitch against a tough Astros team.

Two of the six home-runs he’s given up have been off the bat of All-Star second baseman, Jose Altuve. Eovaldi shut down Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge, what’s to say he can’t shut down Altuve?

Overall, Eovaldi is worth the risk. If the Red Sox get the chance to battle it out with the Astros, Eovaldi can give you a quality start (especially at Fenway Park).