Over the weekend, the Red Sox picked up their second sweep of the Yankees this season. It was a pitching clinic from the Sox, with their staff allowing just seven combined runs in the three games. In particular, a pair of former Yankee arms stood out for Boston in key moments.
Garrett Whitlock and Adam Ottavino both played crucial roles coming out of the bullpen, with at least one of the two appearing in all three games. They combined to allow just one run on four hits while striking out seven batters in six total innings.
For both pitchers, the weekend series is just an extension of what has been exceptional seasons. Each has been a cornerstone piece of a Red Sox bullpen that has the fourth-best ERA in the American League.
Whitlock has thrown 36.1 innings over 21 appearances, and boasts a 1.49 ERA and 1.16 WHIP to go along with a 3-1 record. As for Ottavino, he’s been the club’s primary setup man, with five saves and an AL-best 14 holds in 35 appearances – the most by any Red Sox relief pitcher. He has a 2.81 ERA, and a WHIP of just 0.875.
Perhaps making things tougher for the Yankees and their fans is the fact that the Red Sox were able to obtain both pitchers for next to no cost. Whitlock was a Rule 5 draft pick – the Yankees chose not to protect him after he spent last season recovering from Tommy John surgery. Meanwhile, Ottavino was acquired in a salary dump trade in late January.
With their sweep, the Red Sox regained first place in the AL East, thanks to a 47-31 record. They begin a four-game series with the Kansas City Royals Monday night at Fenway, before heading on a west coast road trip starting this weekend.