Red Sox: Alex Cora topped off his own perfect game with sweet irony

Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora (Photo by Dan Istitene - Pool/Getty Images)
Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora (Photo by Dan Istitene - Pool/Getty Images) /

Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora pitched a perfect game of his own against the Yankees.

Cora got the best of Gerrit Cole. He got the best of Aaron Boone. It wasn’t even close.

The Red Sox’s bullpen was far better than their arch-rival, as was pretty much every facet of their ball-club. The Yankees entered this game favored, but exited a beaten down shell of a team.

Just over five innings of one-run ball from Nathan Eovaldi gave way to Cora’s exceptional bullpen management. That bullpen decision-making ended in the ninth inning, when Cora perhaps threw some unintentional shade at his rival by throwing Garrett Whitlock, a former Rule 5 pick which Boston stole from…the Yankees.

Red Sox stole Garrett Whitlock in rare Yankees whiff

Some in the Yankees organization admitted Whitlock had a chance to be a productive major-league pitcher. The Red Sox evidently believed the same thing, and took a chance on the former New York promising arm.

Whitlock was ascending in the Yankees system, before needing Tommy John surgery in 2019 while with the then-Double A affiliate Trenton Thunder. Whitlock never pitched at the Yankees alternate training site in 2020, and was made available in the Rule 5.

“There’s a lot of risks with pretty much every decision that teams make,” said Pat Osborn, who managed Whitlock at Class-A Tampa and Trenton, per the New York Post. “This was probably one of the difficult ones for the Yankees. Maybe there was a hope that because he was injured, he would slip through the cracks. But these teams are smart, and the Red Sox did a heck of a job of scouting.”

Whitlock had a sub-2.00 ERA this season — the eighth-most among qualified relief pitchers. It’s certainly better than any Yankees reliever posted.

In the end, it was Whitlock celebrating on the mound against his former team.

Yankees: Gerrit Cole was so bad he made Aaron Boone look good. dark. Next