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Red Sox/Yankees Game One Thoughts
- The biggest difference in this game was the bullpen. It was so abundantly obvious that the Red Sox only trusted Garrett Whitlock, and they were intent on ridding him until the end. When Whitlock was forced to exit, the rest of the relievers couldn’t shut the door. The Yankees, meanwhile, got quality outings from Aroldis Chapman, Wandy Peralta, Jonathan Loiasaga, and Kevin King, who combined to allow just one walk and strike out seven. This is something I feared going into the season, and in just the first game of the season, the difference was clear.
- In his Red Sox debut, Trevor Story went 0-5 with a punchout. The second baseman really looked like he was pressing at the plate. He did, however, make some nice plays in the field
- Matt Barnes is either really banged up, or he has lost all faith from his manager. Either way, it’s not good.
- I know there was some criticism of the way Alex Cora managed the game, but I had no problem with his decision-making. After all, there were really no good options considering the arms the Red Sox had in the bullpen, and Cora’s mixing and matching after Whitlock departed allowed the game to be extended into the 11th.
- As noted by the Twitter account Red Sox Stats, Whitlock’s slider during this outing had a very different look than in 2021. Whitlock’s slider averaged 87 MPH with 31 centimeters of vertical break, but averaged just 82 MPH with 44 centimeters of vertical break on Friday. The pitch was still very effective, but it remains to be seen if the trade-off of velocity for more movement was a smart one
- The Red Sox bullpen was not all that impressive on Friday to say to least, but one reliever who looked sharp was Ryan Brasier. 10 out of the 11 sliders were located in the down-and-away quadrant of the zone, and the pitch was over 100 RPMS greater than in 2021. Brasier is one of the few pitchers in the Red Sox bullpen with closing experience, and if he can continue to spot his slider like he did in this appearance, he can become one the team’s most trusted relievers.