Surprise, surprise: The Boston Red Sox' postseason workhorse is ready for more work.
Red Sox right-hander Nathan Eovaldi will be available out of the bullpen Monday for Game 3 of the American League Championship Series against the Houston Astros at Fenway Park, manager Alex Cora confirmed on MLB Network.
"Nate will be in the bullpen tonight. He’s available for one inning," Cora said.
Eovaldi threw 81 pitches as the Red Sox' Game 2 starter in Houston on Saturday night, allowing three runs over 5.1 innings to pick up the victory. The 31-year-old only needed one day of rest, though, and gives Cora another valuable option behind Game 3 starter Eduardo Rodriguez.
While Nick Pivetta could be the first reliever on deck to replace Rodriguez, he also might start Game 4. So, depending on how long Rodriguez lasts, Cora could try to save Pivetta for Game 4 and rely on his bullpen -- Eovaldi now included -- to piece together the final innings.
Eovaldi is slated to start a potential Game 6 on Friday night, and that still will be the case if he pitches an inning of relief Monday night, per Cora.
"He’s done it before," Cora said. " ... We text everybody in the morning, ‘Spikes on’ and (they will all) be out there, except (Chris) Sale. We’ll see where it takes us."
Eovaldi put in similar work against these same Astros in the 2018 ALCS, throwing 1.1 innings out of the bullpen in Game 5 after starting Game 3 two nights prior. He also made three appearances in four days in the 2018 World Series, highlighted by his heroic six-inning relief effort in Game 3.
The veteran right-hander boasts a sterling 2.37 ERA in the postseason and is Boston's most clutch pitcher, so having him in the bullpen is great news for the Red Sox as they aim to take a 2-1 series lead.