Phillies RHP Pivetta makes major-league debut vs. Dodgers
LOS ANGELES — A childhood dream will become a reality Sunday for Philadelphia Phillies right-hander Nick Pivetta.
Pivetta will make his major-league debut against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday. Pivetta will oppose Los Angeles Dodgers lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu (0-4, 4.64) in the series finale at Dodger Stadium.
Pivetta, who was acquired by the Phillies from the Washington Nationals in 2015 for former closer Jonathan Papelbon, was called up last week to replace injured starter Aaron Nola, who is on the disabled list with a strained lower back.
Pivetta was initially scheduled to make his debut last Wednesday against the Miami Marlins, but the game was postponed because of rain and his start was pushed back.
But that didn’t dampen his enthusiasm.
“It’s so surreal being here,” Pivetta told MLB.com on Saturday, referring to the major leagues. “It’s met my expectations and more.”
Pivetta was 3-0 with a 0.95 ERA in three starts with the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs. The 24-year-old struck out 24 and walked two in 19 innings.
“I’m happy that I’m throwing a day game tomorrow because I’ll be able to wake up and I’ll be on the mound,” Pivetta said, according to MLB.com. “There’s not a lot of sitting around and waiting. Right now, it’s nice. I’m calm and easy. But I’m sure when I get out there it will be a lot different. There’s going to be a lot more emotions.”
Pivetta becomes the fourth Phillies player to make his debut this season. He joins Mark Leiter Jr., who pitched in relief Friday, first baseman Brock Stassi and catcher Andrew Knapp, who both homered in Saturday’s crushing 6-5 loss to the Dodgers.
Pivetta’s start could help the Phillies temporarily forget an unforgettable loss to the Dodgers. Yasiel Puig, rookie Cody Bellinger and pinch hitter Justin Turner hit consecutive home runs to lead off the ninth inning off closer Hector Neris.
Adrian Gonzalez hit a walk-off single to clinch it for the Dodgers.
“I don’t know where this is going to take us, but sometimes in a season you look back at certain nights and games in a season that you can point to that the team kind of sustains some traction or gains some traction or kind of turned things around and really picked it up,” manager Dave Roberts said. “This might be that day. It was nice to see these guys rewarded.”
Roberts would enjoy watching Ryu earn his first win. Ryu pitched well in his last start on April 24 in a 2-1 loss to the San Francisco Giants. He gave up a run on five hits in six innings with three strikeouts and a walk.
Ryu hasn’t faced the Phillies since April 22, 2014. He allowed two runs on nine hits with three strikeouts and two walks in six innings of a 3-2 loss by Los Angeles.
In two career starts against Philadelphia, Ryu has a 2.77 ERA and failed to figure into a decision in either outing.
In 28 career starts at Dodger Stadium, Ryu has posted a 11-9 record with a 3.26 ERA.