Sox need Big Game Nate once again
Nathan Eovaldi has starred virtually every time he’s gotten the ball in October (Photo: Billie Weiss/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
By JACK BELANGER
With two more excellent starts under his belt this October, Nathan Eovaldi has further cemented his status
as one of the best big game pitchers in Red Sox history.
Tonight in Houston and on the American League Championship Series stage, Eovaldi has another chance to shine. His team sure needs it.
Since coming to Boston in 2018, Eovaldi has been nothing short of spectacular in the playoffs. Maybe his most important outing came in a loss, the infamous Game 3 of the 2018 World Series at Dodger Stadium when he came out of the bullpen and tossed six innings in relief in what would be the 18 inning marathon loss to the Dodgers. Eovaldi was the ninth pitcher for the Sox that night and his effort ultimately buoyed the bullpen for the rest of the series.
So where does the 31-year old Eovaldi rate among the Red Sox post-season pitching stars?
5. Pedro Martinez
The image of Martinez giving up five runs against the Yankees in the 2003 ALCS was a low-point
in the Hall of Famer’s career. While Pedro may have had some tough games in the postseason,
he did have some great games that are overlooked. In the 1999 ALDS, he came out of the
bullpen to pitch six scoreless innings without giving up a single hit against the Cleveland Indians.
In the 2004 World Series he pitched seven shutout innings against the St. Louis Cardinals. While
the Yankees usually had his number in the postseason, he did have a great game in the 1999
ALCS where he struck out 12 Yankees in seven innings.
4. Babe Ruth
Surprised? Ruth may have pitched only three World Series games, but a 0.87 ERA in 31 innings is
pretty spectacular. In 1916 he had a 14-inning complete game where he gave up only one run. In
1918 he threw a shutout against the Cubs and followed that up pitching another eight innings
only a few days later. Ruth certainly brought plenty of titles to New York, but he had a major
hand in bringing a few championships to Boston as well.
3. Nathan Eovaldi
Eovaldi will always be remembered for his World Series performance, but he has been great in
nearly every October game. The Sox are 4-0 in his postseason starts and he owns a 1.93 ERA in 32.2 innings.
Against the Yankees in the ALDS that year he pitched seven innings and gave up
only one run. His two starts this year have been rock solid. He came through with 5.1 strong innings in the Wild Card Game against the Yankees, striking out eight batters. He followed that up with another great performance against the 100-win Rays. In front of the home crowd, Eovaldi gave up only two runs while striking out eight again.
2. Curt Schilling
Already a postseason legend during his time in Arizona, who knows if Boston would have broken
the Curse of the Bambino without Schilling? His “Bloody Sock” game in the 2004 ALCS kept
Boston’s season alive and pushed the series to Game 7. He helped Boston to another title in
In the World Series against Colorado he went 5.1 innings giving up only one run in his final
career game. Overall he went 6-1 and had a 3.21 across eight starts for the Red Sox in the
- Josh Beckett
Beckett had a Cy Young caliber year in 2007, but his regular season performance was nothing
compared to his run in the playoffs. He was a perfect 4-0 with a 1.20 ERA and opened
the playoffs with a shutout against the Angels in the ALDS. With Boston down 3-1 in the 2007
ALCS against Cleveland, he struck out 11 batters in eight innings to keep the season alive. In
Game 1 of the World Series, he struck out nine Rockies and went seven innings. Beckett may not
have left Boston on a high note, but his run in 2007 set the standard for all-time great playoff