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Red Sox pitcher Garrett Whitlock makes MLB history and makes the Yankees look like fools for letting him go
Garrett Whitlock made Boston Red Sox president of baseball operations Chaim Bloom look like a genius all season long in 2021.
Now, the young pitcher is making Major League history.
According to @SoxNotes, the Twitter account run by a Red Sox media relations employee, the 25-year-old righty owns the lowest career ERA among all pitchers with at least 90 innings of work in the Live Ball Era.
As in, since 1920.
That’s a lot of pitchers.
Whitlock’s success is phenomenal for the Sox at face value, but it also has a delicious added layer of consistently burning the Yankees. They drafted and signed Whitlock but chose not to protect him from the 2020 Rule 5 Draft, while he was recovering from Tommy John surgery.
The Red Sox paid the Yankees the standard $100,000 fee that accompanies Rule 5 selection, a number significant to the rivalry for another historic reason; in 1919, the Sox sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees for the same amount. Perhaps the transaction balanced their cosmic ledger.
Garrett Whitlock’s Red Sox success has been a nightmare for the Yankees
Whitlock made his major-league debut with the Sox on April 4, 2021, and had one of the best rookie seasons by a pitcher in franchise history. He posted a 1.96 ERA over 46 appearances, finished 11 games, and earned a pair of saves. In 73 1/3 innings, he struck out 81 batters, issued 17 walks, and only allowed 16 earned runs.
The rookie also dazzled in Boston’s unexpected postseason run last fall, making five relief appearances and only allowing two earned runs to 30 batters faced. In the Wild Card Game, the Red Sox made sure to rub Whitlock in the Yankees’ faces a little extra, sending him in to pitch the ninth and slam the door on their rival’s season.
Over his first six games of the season, Whitlock has an eye-popping 0.54 ERA. In addition to being dominant, he’s proving versatile, working as both a reliever and starting pitcher. His hard work has not gone unnoticed, nor is it unappreciated, as the Sox rewarded him with a four-year extension for $18.75 million earlier this month.
The last two decades have been a pleasant turnaround for the Boston side of this historic rivalry. Since the soul-crushing defeat of Aaron Boone’s walk-off in the 2003 ALCS, the Red Sox have come out on top at nearly every turn. The Yankees, meanwhile, are now in a World Series drought of their own, and cannot help striking out against a pitcher they failed to protect.
And if you’re a Yankees fan reading this and crying “rent-free,” I’d like to direct you to 86 years of torment and “1918” chants.