Garrett Whitlock Activated, Giving Red Sox Boost For Season Finale

Will he be the difference-maker?

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Garrett Whitlock returned to the Boston Red Sox just in time.

The star reliever was reinstated from the 10-day injured list Sunday afternoon and will be available for the regular season finale against the Washington Nationals, the Red Sox announced. He was moved to the IL on Sept. 21 (retroactive to Sept. 20) due to a right pectoral strain.

To clear a roster spot, the Red sox optioned righthander Eduard Bazardo to Triple-A Worcester.

Whitlock has put together quite the season for Boston, which selected him out of the New York Yankees organization in the Rule 5 Draft. He has a 1.99 ERA through 72 1/3 innings pitched, posting an 8-4 record. His ERA ranks first among rookies who have pitched at least 70 innings.

He’s precisely the boost the Red Sox bullpen may need behind Chris Sale in Sunday’s game. A pair of tight wins against Washington proved just how crucial the bullpen will be in an outing that will decide Boston’s postseason fate.

While Saturday’s victory ensured the Red Sox will have at least one game after Sunday, it’s still unclear if that will be a tiebreaker Game 163 or the American League Wild Card Game. With the Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners still in the hunt and the potential for a four-way tie still in play, the Red Sox will need to win Sunday in order to clinch their spot in the Wild Card Game.

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