Red Sox

McAdam: With no one else to turn to, Red Sox asking a lot of Nathan Eovaldi

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Nathan Eovaldi is not Pedro Martinez, not by any stretch of the imagination. Nor is he Jacob deGrom or Gerrit Cole, or even, for that matter, Chris Sale.

All of those pitchers are certified aces, top-of-the-rotation starters who can dominate even the best of lineups, and Eovaldi falls far short of that description.

But for now, he's the best the Red Sox have to offer. It's not his fault that he's become the No. 1 starter on Boston's staff. That's a status earned by default as much as anything else.

Still, he's about all they have. The rest of the rotation is filled with a back-end veteran (Martin Perez, like Eovaldi bumped up a few rungs through no fault of his own), an unproven journeyman (Ryan Weber) and an assortment of various reclamation projects.

It's not how the Red Sox drew it up, of course. They had planned on having Sale and David Price and Eduardo Rodriguez lined up in front of Eovaldi. But then, a torn elbow ligament, payroll concerns and COVID-19, respectively, intervened, and Eovaldi was sort of the last man standing.

To his credit, Eovaldi had responded to the challenge in the early going, giving the Red Sox 11 innings combined in his first two outings, pitching effectively both times. How much separation was there between Eovaldi and the rest of the Red Sox rotation? In their first 10 games, the Red Sox were 2-0 when Eovaldi started....and 1-7 when anyone else did.

So you can see where this is headed. When Eovaldi starts, the Red Sox