Monday, July 3, 2017

Pivetta puts on a show; Philadelphia leaves NYC with a win

Philadelphia hurler Nick Pivetta
Nick Pivetta's name was never splashed across the pages of Baseball America, nor was he ever considered a blue-chip prospect. He's still young and relatively unproven, but he showed again on Sunday the potential to be an asset to the Phillies' future.

Pivetta held the Mets to one run over seven innings on one hit in Philadelphia's 7-1 win at Citi Field. It was a nice bounce-back effort considering he failed to get through three innings against Arizona in his last start.

"That was my No. 1 focus, a good rebound there," Pivetta said. "I didn't want to throw 2 2/3 innings again in 88 pitches. We scored four runs in the second inning which really helped out a lot. As a pitcher it's huge, especially coming off that last outing having those guys really get those bats going. Just from there we just attacked, attacked the hitters."

T.J. Rivera capitalized on Pivetta's lone mistake, cracking a line drive homer to put the Mets on the board in the fifth.

Pivetta, 24, has a 4.85 ERA over his first 10 big league starts. He's struggled with walks and command, but he's also shown a willingness to attack and go after hitters.

“He still needs work on his secondary pitches, but once he hones those, he’s got a chance to be really good,” manager Pete Mackanin said. “I really like him.”

The Phillies scored four runs in the second inning. Maikel Franco hit a two-run double and Andrew Knapp drove him in with a single. Knapp later scored from second on a wild pitch after Mets catcher Rene Rivera had trouble finding the ball near the backstop. Brock Stassi collected a pinch-hit RBI-single in the eighth and Daniel Nava followed with a two-run single.

"Nice to see the offense come together and generate some things," Mackanin said.

Debut Weekend
Nick Williams went 4-for-11 with one walk, two strikeouts and two runs scored in his debut weekend.

"I like him," Mackanin said. "One thing I like is he's always smiling. He's upbeat. He's playing hard. He's going up there swinging the bat with authority."

What's Next
The Phillies welcome the Pittsburgh Pirates to Philadelphia for a four-game set spanning over the July 4th holiday. Aaron Nola (5-5, 4.13 ERA) will start Monday's opener opposite Ivan Nova (8-5, 3.08 ERA) for Pittsburgh.
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Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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