Workman finds success in pressure spot

Workman finds success in pressure spot
August 11, 2013, 12:15 am
Share This Post

KANSAS CITY – A rookie is going to experience many firsts in his career. For right-hander Brandon Workman, primarily a starter since the Red Sox drafted him in the second round in 2010, on Saturday night he got to experience the pressure of coming into a close ball game with runners on base.
 
“Yeah, that was the first time I’ve done that,” he said. “So it was definitely different. A lot more high-pressure situation than being able to have my own inning. But it just kind of made me be a little more focused and execute my pitches a little better.”
 
Something Felix Doubront struggled with. The left-hander was not as effective – or efficient – as he has been in recent outings. But, with help from the bullpen, especially Workman, the Red Sox beat the Royals, 5-3, at Kauffman Stadium Saturday night.
 
Doubront lasted just four innings, plus four batters in the fifth, needing 98 pitches (61 strikes). He gave up three runs on six hits and four walks with three strikeouts and a wild pitch. Of the 10 baserunners he allowed, he had two-strike counts to six.
 
“For the third night in a row [the Royals] came out and pressed us early,” said manager John Farrell. “A lot of pitches thrown, the walks mixed in, and once they started their momentum, his pitch count was such that we had to get him.
 
“But it was just erratic command in the strike zone, the number of walks allowed builds into the length of some of those innings. Just not as sharp as his last time out against Arizona [on Sunday].”
 
Workman earned the win, going 1 1/3 scoreless innings, with two hits and three strikeouts.  He improves to 3-1, with a 4.78 ERA.
 
Doubront, who had pitched seven shutout innings over his last 11 innings, began to falter in the fifth. He gave up a lead-off walk to Alcides Escobar, consecutive doubles to Eric Hosmer and Billy Butler, each scoring a run, and a single to Alex Gordon, ending Doubront’s outing.
 
With the tying runs on base, Workman entered. He struck out Justin Maxwell before
giving up a run-scoring single to Miguel Tejada, with Gordon taking second.  With Mike Moustakas batting Gordon stole third. But Workman retired Moustakas on a pop-up and struck out Brett Hayes, ending the Royals threat.
 
“It was kind of a bad spot the entire way thru,” Workman said. “I felt like every pitch was kind of a crucial pitch. I don’t know if there really was a key. It was kind of all of it.”
 
“Honestly, I was just going in there trying to execute the twitches they were calling for me. Just trying to make those pitches and let the results take care of themselves."
 
After Workman, Craig Breslow and Junichi Tazawa combined to pitch 2 2/3 scoreless innings before Koji Uehara earned his 12th save with a perfect ninth.
 
“They did an outstanding job,” Farrell said. “You can point to any one guy and say they were the lynch pin that kind of hand it over to the next guy. But Workman comes in in a really tight spot, gets a big strikeout to [Justin] Maxwell. A cutter stays over the middle of the plate to [Miguel] Tejada but he’s able to shut it off right there with a very good curveball to [Mike] Moustakas to pop him up. Bres gets a huge groundball double play on  a guy that’s swinging the bat exceptionally well on  [Eric] Hosmer. And Taz and Koji, they’re so efficient and it’s easy to call their name. But we’ve got to be sure that we monitor their rest as well.”