OAKLAND — The Red Sox are running out of ways to describe Nick Pivetta’s transformation since he joined the team’s relief corps. For his latest feat, the right-hander just did something that only five other pitchers in the Modern Era have accomplished.
Pivetta set a franchise record for the most strikeouts by a reliever, punching out 13 batters across six innings in a 7-0 Red Sox win over the A’s Monday night at the Coliseum. He became the sixth pitcher in AL/NL history to strike out 13 or more in relief, joining an exclusive club:
- Randy Johnson: 16 strikeouts in seven innings on July 18, 2001
- Walter Johnson: 15 strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings on July 25, 1913
- Rube Marquard: 14 strikeouts in eight innings on May 13, 1911
- Denny McLain: 14 strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings on June 15, 1965
- Billy O’Dell: 13 strikeouts in nine innings on July 4, 1961
Of those six members, Pivetta is the only one who did not allow a hit. Since he faced 20 batters on Monday, Pivetta’s strikeout rate (65%) among the six is second only to Randy Johnson, who whiffed 16 of the 23 hitters he faced (69.6%).
After a dicey beginning to his 2023 campaign, Pivetta has seen