Whitlock worked a scoreless sixth inning, but after walking Cedric Mullins to start the seventh, Whitlock winced slightly in pain.
“[Rafael Devers] was the one who saw it, ”Cora said. “I believe [Whitlock’s] Fastball had fallen to 92. And Rafi was the one that caught my eye.
Whitlock then left with a team coach and was replaced by Hirokazu Sawamura.
Whitlock was not only the Sox’s best reliever, but also their most consistent. In 72 ‘innings of work, Whitlock has a 1.99 ERA, 79 strikeouts and a WHIP of 1.12.
“I mean, the guy was absolute nails for us,” Chris Sale said recently. “And being able to go out there and pitch an inning, two innings, more than two, and do what he did, that took a lot of pressure off a lot of other guys. And to be able to go out there and do what he’s been doing all year long, he’s like an automatic correction. As soon as he has a bad one, it’s boom, we move on to the next one.
At Sale’s Point, the Red Sox can arm Whitlock in a variety of ways. He can shut down or be a long reliever who can work his way through an intimidating formation in crucial games. When the stakes are high, the Sox have gone to Whitlock.
Just recently, the team decided that they would need to rely even more on their relievers box, relying mainly on just two starters (Sale and Nate eovaldi) to get them to the finish line this season. Everyone has a quick hook. Nick Pivetta, for example, pitched 3⅔ innings on Saturday before Cora went to her bullpen. This tactic makes Whitlock’s role even more valuable. Losing him for a while as the Sox move into the final two weeks of the season could shatter the biggest chunk of their plan.
Does Kike bounce?
Kike Hernandez was 2 for 3 with two runs scored, a double and an RBI on Sunday. He’s 4-for-8 in the team’s last two games after a 0-for-14 skid. After her bout with COVID-19 and a stint on the COVID-related injury list, Cora said her lead hitter had to hard to find his timing. Now Hernández feels like he’s slowly coming back to feeling himself again.
“I feel better,” Hernández said. “As if I was approaching. Not great, but better. Ten days without a swing, I mean, that’s how it is. If you think about it too much, it will just pile up on you. My timing was not good. But I’m not going to sit here and make excuses. I just wasn’t doing the job. I feel a little better now and take better hitters.
Jarren Duran and Christian Arroyo play for Worcester
Jarren Duran and Christian Arroyo (COVID IL) the two were in the line-up for Worcester on Sunday. The team has yet to make a decision on what to do next for either just yet… The Red Sox have a two-game streak against the Mets starting Tuesday. Eduardo Rodriguez will take the ball against Marcus Stroman. Wednesday’s starter for the Red Sox remains to be determined. The Mets will have Tylor Megill on the hill.