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October 11, 2021

Garrett Whitlock

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Fenway Park

Boston Red Sox

Postgame 4 Press Conference

Red Sox 6, Rays 5

Q. Can you talk about pitching and that situation with the game and series on the line? What did you have going for yourself?

GARRETT WHITLOCK: It was a lot of fun. It was a cool situation to come into, and just trying to get outs right away. I knew try not to let the guy on second score. I just knew to try to get outs right away.

Q. When it was ten months ago whenever it was when you got picked in the Rule 5 draft, could you imagine closing out the game to get to the ALCS?


Q. When did you start to gain the confidence that you could do this over the course of a season?

GARRETT WHITLOCK: Honestly, a lot had to do in Chicago after I gave up that walk-off home run. I was sitting in the bathroom, and Kiké Hernandez came up, and like I was down on myself. Kiké came up, and he was just like, hey, man, you've been huge for us all year. You're going to continue to be huge for us. Once he said that, that gave me a lot of confidence to go.

Q. What was it like to be pitching in this atmosphere tonight with the way the crowd was from the first pitch?

GARRETT WHITLOCK: A lot of fun. After we won, I took a second to kind of step back and look at the crowd, look how everyone was reacting and cheering and everything. It was a lot of fun just to soak everything up and just enjoy the moment.

Q. You talked pregame about sort of the role Alex has had in building confidence and belief and all that. I wonder what was the atmosphere like in the dugout in between those innings when you're going back in and you all are waiting for the run that eventually came? What was the atmosphere, and what was Alex like in those moments?

GARRETT WHITLOCK: I couldn't tell you. I was focused on who the next hitters were and trying to get them out. Sorry.

Q. I know there are little things inside a team, inside a clubhouse that serve as motivators. I couldn't help but notice there was some popcorn on the mound at the end of the game. I wonder how much discussion there was about the Rays eating in the dugout before and just how this team has sort of fed off criticism and slights throughout the year.

GARRETT WHITLOCK: I didn't hear anything about popcorn or anything like that. So I'm not sure about that one.

Q. When Brasier had the tough eighth inning, you come in there, and there's a guy in scoring position there. How fired up were you to keep the game tied and get your team out of that situation right there?

GARRETT WHITLOCK: I was worried about just trying to throw up a zero in the ninth. Once AC said you've got to keep going, that's all I was focused on. So move on to that one.

Q. I know you're a laid-back guy obviously, but in that situation, guy on second, no outs, what's going through your mind? Are you nervous? Is the adrenaline pumping?

GARRETT WHITLOCK: Oh, yeah. I would like to say it's not, but it's definitely pumping, and you know the situation and everything. So I just try and take a deep breath and take it in and try and execute a plan.

Q. Do you have like butterflies?

GARRETT WHITLOCK: Anyone that tells you they don't, they're lying to you.

Q. Were you going back out for another one if they don't score?

GARRETT WHITLOCK: If AC had told me to, I would have gone out.

Q. How confident were you that one way or another you guys were going to find a way to get that run?

GARRETT WHITLOCK: I'm always confident in our lineup. Our offensive power is a lot. Every time those guys get out there, I'm very confident in their abilities.

Q. What was being in that pile-up like for you? Anything in particular that you remember?

GARRETT WHITLOCK: Like I said, I soaked it all in. I watched it. Just to see that and especially it be my first year, it was a really neat moment.

Q. When you were picked in the Rule 5, were you aware that was going to be going on? Did you think you had a chance to get picked? Was that expected or shocking or what?

GARRETT WHITLOCK: So I was actually working out at my strength place down in Pelham, Alabama. It's called Tinsley Performance. We were just doing a normal workout. Cal, our head strength coach, he said, hey, let's take a second to turn it on and see what happens. Sure enough, heard my name. From that moment on, my goal was just make the team and go from there.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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