Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora pitched his own perfect game against the Yankees.
Cora got the best of Gerrit Cole. He got the best of Aaron Boone. It wasn’t even close.
The Red Sox’s bullpen was far superior to their arch-rival, as was virtually every facet of their ball club. The Yankees came in as favorites in this game, but left a team flattened shell.
Just over five innings of a one-run ball from Nathan Eovaldi gave way to Cora’s exceptional bullpen management. That bullpen decision ended in the ninth inning, when Cora perhaps threw some unintended shadow to his rival by throwing Garrett Whitlock, a former Rule 5 pick that Boston stole from… the Yankees.
Red Sox stole Garrett Whitlock in rare Yankees scent
Some in the Yankees organization admitted that Whitlock had a chance to become a prolific major league pitcher. The Red Sox apparently believed the same and took a chance on New York’s formerly promising arm.
Whitlock rose up the Yankees system, before requiring surgery from Tommy John in 2019, while with then-Double A affiliate Trenton Thunder. Whitlock never pitched at the Yankees’ alternate training venue in 2020 and was made available in Rule 5.
“There are a lot of risks in pretty much every decision teams make,” said Pat Osborn, who led Whitlock at Class-A Tampa and Trenton, according to the New York Post. “This was probably one of the hardest for the Yankees. Perhaps there was a hope that because he was injured, he would slip through the cracks. But these teams are smart and the Red Sox have done an excellent scouting.”
Whitlock had an ERA of less than 2.00 this season — eighth among qualified assistant pitchers. It’s definitely better than any Yankees reliever posted.
In the end, it was Whitlock celebrating on the mound against his former team.