Nothing gets by Adam Ottavino.
The Red Sox reliever pitched well in Seattle this week, retiring the lone batter he faced on Tuesday and pitching 1.2 innings of scoreless relief Wednesday in Boston's 9-4 over the Mariners in 10 innings.
Apparently Ottavino had a little extra motivation from a comment he overheard on the Mariners game broadcast about the supposed superiority of Seattle's bullpen.
"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 after Wednesday's game, via MassLive.com. "I’m glad we were able to be the difference the last two nights."
It's unclear how Ottavino caught wind of these comments, and we'll overlook the fact that the Mariners technically had the better team bullpen ERA entering the series.
What matters for Ottavino and the Red Sox is that his motivational tactic worked.
Boston's relief group didn't allow an earned run over a combined 17.1 innings against Seattle, while the Mariners' pen imploded to give up 12 earned runs total, including five earned runs in the 10th inning of the Red Sox' win Wednesday. (Boston's bullpen did allow five runs in the series, but all were unearned.)
That's an impressive feat considering Alex Cora's club is still without closer Matt Barnes in addition to Hirokazu Sawamura and Phillips Valdez.
The icing on the cake for Ottavino? Boston now boasts the better bullpen ERA at 3.98 to Seattle's 3.99.
"Guys have been doing a good job collectively this road trip," Ottavino added. "Putting in some heavy innings in the pen, just trying to do our jobs and keep the games close to give us a chance."
The Red Sox return from Seattle on Friday to face the Baltimore Orioles in the first contest of an eight-game homestand at Fenway Park.