Boston Red Sox: Top 5 performances from a victorious ALDS series

Enrique Hernandez #5 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo by Winslow Townson/Getty Images)
Enrique Hernandez #5 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo by Winslow Townson/Getty Images) /
2 of 6
Boston Red Sox
Garrett Whitlock #72 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images) /

Top 5 performances from the Boston Red Sox ALDS victory

No. 5: Garrett Whitlock shutting the door in Game 4

It will probably get overlooked due to some of the other Herculean efforts the Sox got from their bullpen (more on that in a minute), but there’s a very good chance that Garrett Whitlock saved the team’s season last night.

Ryan Brasier was initially brought on in the top of the eighth and was tasked with protecting a two run lead. That didn’t happen, as Brasier gave up three straight hits, including a pair of the doubles, that allowed Tampa to tie the game at five. Whitlock was quickly called upon, and inherited the go-ahead run on second base with nobody out.

Related Story. 2021 Red Sox compare favorably to their 2004 predecessors. light

Whitlock proceeded to do what he has done all season; get guys out. He got Wander Franco, who was easily Tampa’s best player in the series, to fly out to shallow right field, forcing the runner on second (Randy Arozarena) to stay put. He then induced a pair of ground ball outs from Brandon Lowe and Nelson Cruz to kill the threat, keeping the score tied at five.

The impact of Whitlock’s clutch pitching cannot be overexaggerated. The Rays had been chipping away at a five run deficit the entire game, and finally evened the score. And just when it seemed like they were about to find a way to send this series back to Tampa Bay for Game 5, Whitlock stepped in and saved the day.

Whitlock came back out for the top of the ninth inning, and did pretty much the same thing he did the inning before, minus the suspense of a runner on second. Whitlock kept the game tied, and set the stage for the heroics that would follow in the bottom of the inning. There were flashier performances for sure, but Whitlock stepped up and delivered in the most important situation the team has faced this season.