The Boston Red Sox likely wouldn’t be where they are now if it wasn’t for Chaim Bloom picking up Garrett Whitlock in the Rule 5 draft. Whitlock, one of baseball’s best relievers of 2021, wants to soak up every moment to its fullest.
“If I ever have a day where I’m just like, ‘Oh, it’s another day,’ that’s the day you come and take me out because I told you all at the beginning of Spring Training, I never want to take a day for granted ever again,” said Whitlock.
The 25-year-old contributed a 1-2-3 inning in Boston’s Wild Card win over the Yankees, and hurled 3.1 scoreless innings (two outings) in the ALDS helping the Sox advance to a best-of-seven ALCS vs. the Astros.
“Postseason, this may never happen again,” Whitlock said. “Obviously, you want to be in it every year, but I just want to take it all in and soak it all up. I go out each day and just try and take in the surroundings.”
Whitlock suffered a right pectoral strain late in the season, but came in for his first appearance in more than a dozen days and helped the Sox clinch a playoff spot with a win on the last day of the season.
“If I suck, yeah, it sucks, but if I do great, then great,” Whitlock said. “I just want to enjoy the moment because this is every little kid’s dream. So I just want to soak it all up.”
The righty, who had not pitched above Double-A prior to this season, posted a 1.96 ERA through 46 outings while posting a 2.84 FIP and a 3.06 SIERA.
“Again, just trying to take it day by day but also soak up everything just because, like I said, you never know if this will happen again… Not everyone gets to have experiences like this,” said the rookie.
So, yes, you’re trying to compete your tail off and everything, but at the same time, appreciate and soak up everything,” he added.
Whitlock talked about the Wild Card win over the Yankees.
“A lot of fun. After we won, I took a second to kind of step back and look at the crowd, look how everyone was reacting and cheering and everything. It was a lot of fun just to soak everything up and just enjoy the moment.
The Sox reliever has also expressed his liking for manager Alex Cora, saying that “he’s a guy you’d run through a wall for.
“Like I said, I soaked it all in. I watched it. Just to see that and especially it be my first year, it was a really neat moment,” Whitlock said.
The Sox will begin the ALCS Friday night at 8:07 p.m. EST, in Houston, versus the Astros.
“Anyone that tells you they don’t (have butterflies), they’re lying to you,” said Whitlock.