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Red Sox 2, Diamondbacks 1: Garrett Whitlock Is Extra Back

An elite changeup bodes well for the future.

Boston Red Sox v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images

Generally speaking, you don’t want your expectations to be too high when a young pitcher comes back from injury. Get through five innings. don’t issue too many free pages, limit damage — that’s the best you should hope for. If you want anything more than that, you’re probably setting yourself up for disappointment.

Well, Garrett Whitlock did those three things tonight: he got through five, he didn’t walk any hitters, and he limited damage, allowing just a single solo shot. But if you stop your analysis there, you’ll miss something important: Garrett Whitlock didn’t just come back tonight, he came back as a better pitcher.

While on rehab, Whitlock didn’t just try to get healthy and get up to game speed, he tried to regain the elite changeup he's had for the past couple of seasons, but hadn’t really shown yet this year. Tonight, it returned:

That’s a helluva pitch, and if he can find it every five days over the next four months, then good things are coming.

Three Studs

Garrett Whitlock: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K

Often when a guy returns from an injury, you worry about sharpness and command. Those weren’t much of an issue for Whitlock tonight. He didn’t walk a single batter and scattered just three hits over five efficient innings.

Reese McGuire: 0-3 1 RBI, 1 K

Did he have a single hit? No, he did not. Did he lay down a perfect squeeze bunt with the bases loaded? You bet your ass he did. You execute a squeeze bunt, you make the stud list. Those are the rules.

Masataka Yoshida: 2-3, 1 R, 1 BB

Three times on base for Masa. He didn’t even wait to come back home to break out of the slump.

Three Duds

Raimel Tapia: 0-4, 2 K

With Adam Duvall on the rehab trail, Raimel Tapia is feeling the heat. It’s probably going to be him or Refsnyder who goes to make room for Duvall, and Refsnyder is basically an all-star caliber hitter against lefties, so. . .

Justin Turner: 0-4, K

Turner is currently suck in an 0-20 stretch. So unlike Masa, maybe he is waiting to come back home.

Enmanuel Valdez: 0-1

Dude got pinch-hit for in the 4th inning. That’s rough.

Play of the Game

A game-winning squeeze bunt! Hell yeah!


Who Was The Player Of The Game?

This poll is closed

  • 82%
    Garrett Whitlock
    (183 votes)
  • 8%
    Reese McGuire
    (18 votes)
  • 2%
    Masataka Yoshida
    (6 votes)
  • 7%
    Kutter Crawford
    (16 votes)
223 votes total Vote Now