Lackey, Workman get knocked around

Lackey, Workman get knocked around
September 25, 2013, 12:45 am
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DENVER -- John Lackey knows he's going to be part of the Red Sox playoff rotation, so an off-night isn't going to cost him anything, other than reinforce that he pitches better at home than on the road.
      
Brandon Workman, on the other hand, didn't exactly cement his roster spot with his appearance in relief.
      
In an 8-3 loss to the Colorado Rockies, Lackey was stung for three solo homers in six innings, allowing four runs in total as he dropped to 10-13.
      
The loss spotlighted Lackey's difficulties on the road this season.  In 13 Fenway starts, Lackey's ERA is 2.47; away from home, it inflates to 4.48, a difference of just over two runs.
      
"Good question," shrugged John Farrell when asked to explain the discrepancy. "At Fenway, I think he takes advantage of a big right field and center field area. He pitches so well to the glove side of the plate, so righthanders, he's going to force them to reach for that ball on (the first base side) of the plate. And with our center and right field defense, it's been an advantage to him."
      
"You can't put your finger on it, really," said Lackey. "If I could pitch that well on the road, I'd certainly try to."
      
The difference between his road and home starts, however, may well impact how the Sox set up the post-season. It's likely that Lackey will start Game 2 of the Division Series, rather than wait until Game 3 which will be on the road.
      
As for Workman, while it's widely assumed that he'll be part of the Sox' bullpen corps -- along with Junichi Tazawa, Craig Breslow and perhaps Ryan Dempster -- outings like Tuesday don't help his case.
      
Workman came into the game in the eighth with a baserunner on second and no out and proceeded to allow a single, walk, run-scoring single, double-steal and, after a ground out, a two-run single to Michael Cuddyer.
      
The rookie was making his first appearance since Sept. 17, a week ago, and the layoff was evident.
      
"We tried to buy (Workman) some days of rest and it looked like he hadn't pitched in a while," said Farrell. "Overall command and stuff was down a little bit. This is the first time he's gone an additional month throughout the course of his career. Knowing the number of innings (he's pitched) and high-stress innings, we wanted to buy him a little extra time. Like I said, he looked a little rusty out there tonight."
      
"Obviously, my command wasn't very good at all tonight," said Workman. "That's something I can work on and have it better for the next (appearance) because I wasn't as sharp as I needed to be tonight. I feel good, I was just a little mechanically out of whack and was leaving some balls up. But I feel good physically, so that's good, I guess."
     
Workman used the time to strengthen his body, while also getting some time to rest his arm, which has never pitched this deep into the season. But there's the rest of this week, and then, if the Sox are good enough, several more weeks looming in October.
     
But first, he's got to prove he belongs on the playoff roster.
     
"We're evaluating constantly," said Farrell. "We know who are the mainstays are, both position player-wise and pitching-wise, but there's going to be some decisions that are ultimately going to be made and this last week is important to that decision-making."
     
"That's not my call, obviously," said Workman. "It's something I, along with everybody else, wants to do. But it's out of my hands. I'd like to get back out there as soon as possible and have a little bit better (outing) and get that bad taste out of my mouth."