Big improvement from Sox rookie Webster vs. Angels

Big improvement from Sox rookie Webster vs. Angels
August 9, 2014, 10:45 am
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ANAHEIM, Calif -- It was a familiar scenario with a much different outcome.

There was Allen Webster on Friday night, armed with a 3-0 lead in the third inning, walking the first batter he faced in the next inning, then giving up a run-scoring double.

It was impossible not think about his last start when, ahead 3-0 against the New York Yankees, Webster walked five in his next inning and handed back the lead.

But this time was different. Webster got himself under control and while he allowed another run to score on a sacrifice fly, kept the inning from unraveling.

Lesson learned.

"I stepped off, got back in it and [catcher Christian Vazquez] got me to get extended and get out in front of the ball and get back in line,''  said Webster after picking up a 4-2 win over the Los Angeles Angels.

Webster went 6 2/3 innings for the longest outing of his brief major league career, allowing just the two runs on four hits. He cut his walk total down from six a week ago to just two.

"He was much more under control,'' said John Farrell. "He showed the ability to make adjustments more realily than last time out. There's no denying the stuff and when he does get on the plate, he gives himself a chance to get two outs with one pitch. He can put the ball on the ground, he's got three quality pitches that he showed tonight.

"Tonight was an encouraging outing for him.''

Webster worked during the week on refining his mechanics, and the work on his delivery paid dividends. But he also needed to have more confidence in himself and be unafraid in his ability.

"After every pitch,'' said Webster, "I just told myself to trust my stuff, let it work and let my defense work behind me.''

Webster worked almost every day this past week with pitching coach Juan Nieves and bullpen coach Dana Levangie, trying to get his mechanics locked down.

"We were doing dry work and stuff like that,'' said Webster, "trying to get me to repeat my mechanics and that helped out a lot.''

"I think sometimes a pitcher might look at himself after a game like [last week] and think he's world's apart,'' said Farrell, who professed last week that Webster wasn't far from having things click for him.''

Both Webster and Farrell made sure to credit Vazquez for his input during the game.

"He called an unbelievable game,'' marveled Webster. "I didn't shake [him off] one time the whole game. If I messed up or got away from my mechanics, he looked at me and told me to get right back at it. That definitely kept me going in the right direction.''