Workman's rocky start set tone for Cubs onslaught

Workman's rocky start set tone for Cubs onslaught
July 3, 2014, 1:30 am
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BOSTON -- The sixteen runs they allowed were the most the Red Sox pitching staff had allowed all season. It was as many runs as opponents had managed in their five previous games combined.

It was an out-and-out disaster for the Red Sox pitching staff as a group on Wednesday night as the Red Sox were beaten 16-9 to give the Cubs a series sweep.

"It was a rough night from the mound," manager John Farrell uttered afterward.

Even that sounded like an understatement.

Brandon Workman got the start and instead of providing the reliably solid starts he has turned most of this season, he was off from the jump.

After a walk to start the game, and eight pitches into the night, he allowed a two-run homer to No. 2 hitter Justin Ruggiano. A Starlin Castro RBI single two batters later scored Anthony Rizzo and the Red Sox were quickly in the kind of hole that seemed insurmountable.

They hadn't scored more than two runs in their seven previous home games.

"I just wasn't locating the fastball very well at all tonight," Workman said. "I pitched behind, I walked a couple of guys in the first inning. I left some balls up over the plate they hit well. I just wasn't sharp tonight."

Workman seemed to have things solved quickly when he finished off the Cubs in the second with just eight pitches. In the third, he worked around a one-out single and was back in the dugout after 11 pitches.

But he reverted in the fourth. He walked the leadoff man Welington Castillo and then allowed his second two-run blast of the outing off the bat of Mike Olt.

The next hitter, Darwin Barney, then tripled and scored when Chris Coghlan hit a sac fly. Workman eventually got out of the inning, but by then he had allowed six runs. He never re-emerged for the fifth inning.

"I started using the breaking ball a lot more in the second and third," Workman said. "In the fourth it looked like they kind of sat on it and put some good swings on breaking balls. I wasn't able to do anything to stop them from doing it. I just wasn't sharp enough tonight."

Workman said he could feel a few mechanical flaws that needed fixing during his short stay on the hill.

"Tonight I don't think I was staying back over the rubber well," he said. "I wasn't finishing down and through my pitches. I tried to make some adjustments out there on the mound, pulled a couple of fastballs. I just wasn't able to find it tonight."

 
It was the shortest start of Workman's career and his six runs allowed tied a career high. 

The Red Sox bullpen didn't exactly pick up the 25-year-old righty after his exit:

* Felix Doubront allowed three runs in 1.1 innings.

* Burke Badenhop, who has been rock solid coming into innings with men on base, allowed an inherited runner to score in the sixth.

* Edward Mujica allowed a home run on the first pitch he threw in the eighth to Nate Schierholtz.

* Craig Breslow got rocked in the ninth inning, allowing the Cubs to extend a 10-6 lead to 14-6 by giving up four hits to the first five hitters he faced.

* Junichi Tazawa came in to get the final out, but he allowed three consecutive hits of his own and two runs before the six-run frame ended.

"On an unforgiving night," Farrell said, "things got away from us."

Still, Workman shouldered the blame for starting the game on the wrong foot.

"I mean I didn't really set a good tone coming out," he said. "Three runs in the first kind of gets them in a swinging mindset. They start feeling good about themselves so I kind of got their bats warmed up for the bullpen I guess. Kind of put some guys in some bad spots in the game before they should've been if I had thrown the ball the way I can throw the ball."