I’m going to keep this brief since I’m courageously battling a cold/flu hybrid and staying up until 3:30 surprisingly didn’t help, but last night Nathan Eovaldi submitted a classic Forgotten Playoff Moments game, and I refuse to let him fade into obscurity.
Now, assuming the Red Sox still win the World Series, the likelihood of of him going the way of Chase Utley in 09 are reduced. But the fact that he was the losing pitcher in the longest playoff game ever doesn’t help things. Eovaldi dominated this game. As much as Walker Buehler (remember him?) owned the Sox, Eovaldi owned the Dodgers. 6 innings, one earned run, five strikeouts out of the bullpen when he’d pitched both games before? That should be legendary. Instead, he’ll just be a trivia answer.
Eovaldi put his nuts on the table and dared anyone to do something about it. Eventually, attrition won out. But those twelve hours in between when he entered and when the game ended? It should go down in playoff lore. It was one of the best pitching performances these eyes have ever seen. It reduced Rick Porcello to tears, for crying out loud! This game could have ended a million times before it actually did, but Eovaldi did all any person could have done to keep it going. When he was on the Yankees, I hated Eovaldi passionately. My least favorite player since Joba Chamberlain. I thought he sucked and was grossly overhyped. Now? I would die for him. That’s what playoff baseball does.