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Nathan Eovaldi has taken over role of Red Sox' best set-up man

Ryan Hannable
October 25, 2018 - 1:30 am

When Nathan Eovaldi was traded to the Red Sox just before the trade deadline, it meant the team would not be adding any relief help it seemed to desperately need at the time.

Little did everyone know then, Eovaldi would turn into the Red Sox' best set-up man in the playoffs.

The hard-throwing right-hander has embraced this role on his side days, throwing the last three eighth innings dating back to Game 5 in the ALCS -- and not allowing a single run. His latest appearance was in Wednesday's Game 2 of the World Series when he tossed a 1-2-3 eighth in the Red Sox' 4-2 win. 

Eovaldi relied heavily on his fastball, which touched 102 miles per hour on the Fenway Park radar gun.

"I feel like it helps out a little bit, then just being able to attack with the fastball then being able to pick one of the other, either a fastball or off-speed pitch," he said.

Pitching coach Dana LeVangie said using him on back-to-back days was not an issue.

"We were using Nathan only to, sort of like Chris Sale in New York, use Nathan in this game we want to win this game, knowing he potentially starts in a couple days," he said. "We’re all in to win this game. Going into LA up 2-0 was important."

The 28-year-old noted he's willing to do anything this time of year.

"Whatever role they need me in, like I’ve been saying," he said. "I’m ready to take the ball anytime and I’ll start preparing as if I’m starting Friday or Saturday."

Eovaldi will likely be the Game 4 starter Saturday night with Rick Porcello being announced as the Game 3 starter.

But, as has been the case the entire postseason, he'll do anything that is asked.

"We got two more wins," he said. "I’m ready to do whatever it takes to get those two wins and I feel like everyone is feeling the same way."

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