Red Sox

‘It wasn’t tough’: Here’s what Alex Cora said about pulling Nick Pivetta 6.2 innings into a no-hitter

Nick Pivetta was the first Red Sox pitcher lifted during a no-hit bid since 1916.

Nick Pivetta
Nick Pivetta of the Boston Red Sox delivers a pitch against the Tampa Bay Rays in the first inning. Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Nick Pivetta appeared to understand and agree with whatever Alex Cora said at the mound in the seventh inning right before he exited the game on Thursday.

Still, Pivetta couldn’t pretend he was happy about it.

“No, I did not want to come out,” Pivetta said with a small amount of exasperation on Thursday after he was removed from the game 7.2 innings into a no-hitter. “But it’s not about me, it’s about the game, it’s about winning baseball games. That’s what’s most important.”

Unfortunately for Pivetta and the Red Sox, they didn’t win either. In the ninth inning, Rays pinch-hitter Manuel Margot singled to left, stole second and advanced to third when the throw to second bounced into the outfield. He scored on closer Matt Barnes’s wild pitch, and the Rays walked off with a 1-0 victory and a half-game lead over the Red Sox in the American League East standings.

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As noted by the Boston Globe’s Alex Speier, Pivetta became the first Red Sox pitcher to be pulled in the middle of a no-hitter (with at least five innings pitched) since 1916 when Ernie Shore threw five hitless innings.

Cora said the decision to pull Pivetta was “a no-brainer,” citing the recent success of the bullpen — particularly Josh Taylor.

“It wasn’t tough,” Cora said. “It’s a 0-0 game. We have one of the best lefties in the game, probably the best lefty, throwing the ball in the game.”

The Red Sox got the final out of the inning. Pivetta noted that finishing the game probably would have required “140, 150, 160” pitches.

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“It was a tie ballgame at the time,” Pivetta said. “I was at 100 pitches. So right now it’s just about winning baseball games, and that’s what’s most important.”

When asked how many pitches he could have thrown, Pivetta said he believes he could go all day if needed.

Still: “I just think to be honest with you, it was the right call’s on AC’s part,” Pivetta said. “It made the most sense, and we’re just all about winning series’s. It didn’t happen today, but it was the right call at the right time.”

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“I don’t mind the decision at all,” he added.

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