Adam Ottavino apparently has an ear for bulletin board material.
The Red Sox reliever told reporters Wednesday he heard the Mariners broadcasters said Seattle’s bullpen is superior to Boston’s. That’s all he needed for some extra motivation.
“The Seattle broadcast was talking about how they had the bullpen advantage and I think -- at least I did -- I took it personally,” Ottavino told reporters. “I’m glad we were able to be the difference the last two nights.”
The Red Sox’s pen was excellent in Seattle, only allowing one earned run over 17.1 innings. Mariners relievers, meanwhile, allowed 12 earned runs —including five in the decisive 10th inning Wednesday.
Ottavino pitched 1.2 scoreless innings Wednesday, including a perfect ninth.
The Red Sox’s effort was especially noteworthy, because they’re still without closer Matt Barnes, as well as Hirokazu Sawamura.
That’s left Ottavino to serve as the pen’s anchor to mixed results. He’s sporting a 5.40 ERA in September, though he allowed three of his four earned runs in one appearance. He also threw one of the most insane sliders ever.
Chris Sale is undoubtedly the most important pitcher down the stretch, but Ottavino and company will be tasked with getting the biggest outs of each game.
Can a little birdie tell him the Orioles’ bullpen is better, too? Though even someone looking to be slighted probably wouldn’t believe that.