Pressure on Pivetta to Give Phillies' Bullpen Much-needed Rest

As if there wasn't already enough pressure on Nick Pivetta to get on track, the Phillies and their overworked bullpen badly need a solid start tonight against the Mets. 

When: Tonight at 7:05 - Pregame Live starts at 6:30

Where: NBC Sports Philadelphia; streaming live on the MyTeams app and NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com

Philadelphia Phillies

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Pitching matchup: Nick Pivetta (1-1, 9.45) vs. LHP Steven Matz (1-0, 1.65)

The Phillies have played back-to-back extra-inning games and the bullpen was excellent in both. Over the last two games, Phillies relievers have combined to allow just one earned run in 15 innings. The bullpen has lowered its collective ERA from 5.44 to 4.26 over the last 48 hours. 

The issue is, though, that the bullpen has accounted for 19 of the Phillies' last 34 innings. We've already seen David Robertson, probably the Phils' most important reliever, hit the injured list with a sore elbow. They cannot afford to lose another high-leverage reliever and overwork is already a concern. 

The Phillies' two best relievers so far have been Pat Neshek and Adam Morgan, who have allowed just one earned run in a combined 15 innings. Each appeared six times in the Phils' first nine games but just twice in their last six, a necessary period of rest. 

All of this increases the importance on Pivetta delivering a quality start tonight. The Phillies have just six quality starts in their first 15 games (middle of the pack) and are 5-1. When they haven't received a quality start, they've gone 4-5.

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