Tanner Houck's first start with the Boston Red Sox since April was a success.
The right-hander took the mound for Thursday's game vs. the New York Yankees and for the most part, he was impressive. In 4 2/3 innings, Houck allowed one run on two hits while striking out eight and walking two. He threw 87 pitches before an hour-long rain delay in the fifth inning ended his night.
The highlight of Houck's outing? That would be his wipeout slider, which makes him look like the right-handed version of Red Sox ace Chris Sale.
Seriously, it's uncanny.
It was Houck's second appearance since being called back up to the big-league club. Last Friday, the 25-year-old earned the save after tossing three scoreless innings vs. the Yankees.
All of this is great news for the Red Sox as they certainly could use the pitching depth to help them maintain their lead in the American League East. With Houck looking sharp, Sale nearing a return to the rotation, and another arm possibly joining the staff before the trade deadline, there's plenty of reason for optimism in Boston.