Boston Red Sox: 3 takeaways from the team’s opening slate of games

Pitcher Hansel Robles #57 of the Boston Red Sox celebrates with Jackie Bradley Jr. #19 (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
Pitcher Hansel Robles #57 of the Boston Red Sox celebrates with Jackie Bradley Jr. #19 (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /
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Boston Red Sox
Garrett Whitlock #72 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /

Boston Red Sox takeaway No. 3: Garrett Whitlock may be the team’s best pitcher

Lost in the shuffe of the opening week of MLB action was that the Sox managed to sign Garrett Whitlock to a four year extension. While many were focused on potential extensions for Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers, Boston’s front office did a great job locking up their best reliever for the foreseeable future, which provides a hopeful sign that deals can be reached with Bogaerts and Devers next offseason.

He’s only made two appearences so far this season, but Whitlock is proving that he may just be the team’s best pitcher on the team. Nathan Eovaldi has been a bit iffy in his first two starts this season, and Chris Sale is once again injured. Whitlock on the other hand hasn’t missed a beat, and has already begun to follow up his successful 2021 campaign in similar fashion.

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Whitlock came on in relief for Eovaldi on Opening Day, and went 2.1 innings giving up just two hits while striking out four. Unfortunately, one of those hits was a solo home run to DJ LeMahieu. That one run would eventually send the game to extra innings, but Whitlock was being stretched out thin, and you can’t really fault him for the team’s first loss of the season.

Whitlock bounced back in Boston’s 5-3 win over the Detroit Tigers, and basically willed the Sox to a win. The lineup finally woke up in the sixth inning to score three runs and tie the game, which is when Whitlock entered the game. Whitlock would finish off the games with four no hit innings, in which his only blemish was a walk he issued to the second batter he faced. Whitlock kept the Tigets quiet, and the lineup eventually did their part to get the win.

Whitlock’s four inning outing proves once again he is the best pitcher on this team, and his flexibility to be used in a number of situations makes him incredibly valuable. In a very weak bullpen, Whitlock is the one guy who can single-handedly guide his team to wins, and he already proved as much against Detroit. Whereas the team succeeded in extending Whitlock, they may have made a major blunder in failing to extend our good friend Devers.