USA Today Sports

Steve Pearce had classic reaction to Nathan Eovaldi trade

July 26, 2018 - 11:54 am

Steve Pearce has only faced Nathan Eovaldi eight times. But one was enough. An impression was left.

That's why when he woke up to the news that they were going to be teammates it elicited a unique reaction.

"(Wednesday morning) I woke up and actually looking at the schedule to see where we were playing, looking at the Red Sox homepage," Pearce told "I immediately thought, ‘I hope that’s the same Eovaldi who was pitching for the Rays. That’s going to be great.’" (Just for the record, there have been no other players with the last name "Eovaldi" to pitch in the major leagues.)

The impetus for Pearce's reaction stemmed from a meeting the two had two seasons ago when Eovaldi was pitching for the Yankees and the corner infielder played for the Rays.

"I remember facing him in 2016," Pearce said. "I had faced him a couple of times before but I remember he struck me out and walking back to the dugout, thinking in my head, ‘That is an electric fastball. That is a big league, electric fastball.’ I thought that was amazing. That was one of the best fastballs I had ever seen.

"It just explodes out of his hand. Some guys can throw 100 mph, but it explodes out of his hand. It really sets up his other pitches, especially if he’s locating in and out. You can’t just sit back, see it and react to it."

According to, Eovaldi has thrown the 11th-most fastballs of 100 mph in the majors (109) despite missing the entire 2017 season.

More Red Sox content

- Exposing some lazy trade deadline tirades

- Some under-the-radar trade targets for Red Sox