Workman's rough first inning dooms Sox

Workman's rough first inning dooms Sox
August 8, 2014, 12:30 am
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ST. LOUIS -- Once Brandon Workman got past the first inning Thursday night, he was fine.
      
Of course, that could be said about more than a few of Workman's starts this season.
      
Workman was hit for three runs in the first and needed 34 pitches to get through the inning. That too much of a head start for a team that had Adam Wainwright pitching, resulting in a 5-2 Red Sox loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.
      
In 12 games this year, Workman has allowed 12 runs in the first inning.
      
"I just didn't come out sharp the first inning,'' Workman said. "That got me today. I gave up a three-spot in the first and put our team behind the eight ball against a good pitcher. I threw well after that, but the first inning was enough.
      
"(Having a poor first inning) has happened a couple of times, so it's something I need to look at and maybe take a different approach out there in the bullpen (pre-game).''
      
"Even before he came to us last year, that first inning has been kind of notorious in his career,'' said John Farrell. "It takes that first inning to get into a rhythm of the game and we've seen it this season. We saw it in his first appearance in the major leagues in Seattle last year. So it's a matter of him getting into the flow of the game without allowing some runs on the board. Unfortunately, the three (runs) tonight dug us a little bit of a hole early on.''
      
After the first, Workman allowed just one more run over his final 4 1/3 innings -- a solo homer to second baseman Kolten Wong in the fifth.
      
"I kind of worked on picking up my tempo, trying to get in a rhythm,'' offered Workman, 1-5, "and not overthinking what I was doing out there on the mound and that seemed to work out for me.''
      
Another disturbing trend for Workman: after nine straight starts to begin his major league career in which he didn't allow more than three earned runs in a single start, Workman has now given up four runs or more in each of his last five outings.
      
"It's been more (about) consistent location,'' noted Farrell. "Where last year, he might have had more power at times to get away with a mistake up in the strike zone and on the plate. But what we've seen is when he's mislocated up (in the zone), the way he did with Wong, unfortunately he's paid for it."