NEW YORK -- The Red Sox had just gone through the trouble Sunday of tying the score with the Yankees in the top of the ninth, with an opposite-field solo homer by Will Middlebrooks off famed closer Mariano Rivera, and were entertaining thoughts of completing a four-game sweep of their rivals.
It seemed like another late-inning, comeback win was in the offing.
But those thoughts didn't last for long.
Not long after the Sox had pulled even, with Alfonso Soriano at the plate, Brandon Workman uncorked a wild pitch over the head of catcher
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, enabling Ichiro Suzuki to score from third base with the winning run in the bottom of the ninth, handing the Yankees a
"It looked like he tried to get a little extra on the fastball,'' offered Sox manager John Farrell, "and pulled it, obviously wide. It was somewhat
of an odd end to an otherwise very good series on our end. Situations like today are going to serve Brandon well. He's been in some very high
Farrell trusted Workman enough to take over in the ninth after Jon Lester had limited the Yankees to three runs.
Workman struck out pinch-hitter Brett Gardner for the first out before allowing a single to Suzuki. He then got Vernon Wells to fly
to right, as Suzuki tagged up and advanced to third.
He was an out away from getting out the game when a fastball sailed to the backstop.
"It just kind of got away from me,'' said Workman. "We were trying to work a little bit up in the zone on (Soriano) and one got away, a
little bit too high and it went over Salty's head. I was trying to stay up against him and I just kind of missed up, too high.''
What made Workman feel worse was that, in the top of the inning, the Sox had gotten to Rivera and caused him to blow a save for the second
time in the series.
The Sox had the momentum, and the Yankees, already dealing with a depleted bullpen, seemed on the ropes.
Then, disaster struck.
"Obviously, that's something I'm trying to do -- go out there and give up that run in the bottom of the ninth,'' said Workman. "It's atough spot, for sure. I felt like I made some good pitches. Even with Ichiro, he got that base hit, it was a good curveball down. That one ball got away from me.''
It didn't help that, late in the game, Saltalamacchia was dealing with some vision issues, which may have delayed his reaction time in
reaching up for the errant pitch.
"That late in the game, you're starting to get some shadows,'' said Saltalamacchia. "We had a plan. Our game plan was to throw the fastball
up on [Soriano] He executed exactly what I wanted. I just had to fight to get it and do the best I can and try to hold onto it.''
For Workman, who is trying to gain the trust of his teammates and manager, it was a lost opportunity.
"Obviously,'' said Workman, "these are situations I would like to pitch in and for the most part, I've done pretty well in them. Today, one got away and I just have to move on. It's just one pitch and obviously, it cost us the game. But I have to be put it behind me and be ready to
go next time.''
One that got away from Workman, Sox
September 8, 2013, 11:30 pm
(USA Today Sports)