Yankees: Adam Ottavino and Garrett Whitlock dominating NYY sums up unlucky season

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 05: Adam Ottavino #0 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 05: Adam Ottavino #0 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

The New York Yankees appeared to pick up some momentum after a few series wins against a very good A’s team and a feisty Royals squad that wouldn’t go away, but a matchup against their old rivals in the Boston Red Sox helped remind the Yankees that they still have some hurdles to clear before they can be considered contenders.

The Yankees have lost all four of their games against Boston to this point, and a few ex-Yankees that have crossed over to their rivals in Massachusetts in Adam Ottavino and Garrett Whitlock have helped make the Red Sox’ bullpen much more formidable than it was in their putrid 2020 season.

Whitlock was scooped up by the Red Sox in the Rule 5 Draft, while Ottavino was traded to Boston for nothing more than some salary relief. Ottavino and Whitlock are sporting ERAs of 2.64 and 1.49, respectively, and they’ve been doing some damage against the Yankees.

After last night’s victory, Ottavino and Whitlock have combined for just under seven innings of work against New York. They have allowed just two hits while striking out six. Even Luke Voit back in the lineup might not be enough to erase this trend.

The Yankees could’ve used Adam Ottavino and Garrett Whitlock.

Boston had plenty of power in the lineup given the presence of players like Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts last year, but the lack of pitching is what really did them in. Thanks to performances from players like Ottavino and Whitlock, Boston is operating at a much more efficient clip.

Two painful facts make Ottavino and Whitlock’s departure and success with the Red Sox even more painful. First, the Yankees received a grand total of zero players in exchange for both of them. Second, this bullpen is crying out for an experienced veteran like Ottavino and a promising youngster like Whitlock.

The Yankees’ bullpen has been solid thanks to the contributions of players like Jonathan Loaisiga, Chad Green, and Lucas Luetge, but they are far from dominant. Zack Britton and submarine pitcher Darren O’Day have struggled with injuries. Wandy Peralta has been subpar despite heavy usage, and closer Aroldis Chapman has come completely unglued after an unhittable start.

The Yankees could’ve used Ottavino’s frisbee-like slider or Whitlock’s heavy sinker to get themselves out of some tough jams. Not only are they watching them star on an AL East rival, but they’re making names for themselves with Boston? The season from hell continues to get even worse.