BOSTON (CBS) – Following his first career start, the Red Sox praised 23-year-old Allen Webster for the poise he showed on the mound.
He showed the ability to bounce back and get out of jams, and more importantly, very good location with each of his pitches.
The hope was high and hype in full swing after that three-run, six inning performance against the Kansas City Royals nearly three weeks ago, but none of those traits were there on Wednesday, as Webster was rocked by the Minnesota Twins to the tune of eight runs on six hits and three walks in just an 1.2 innings.
“I fell behind and didn’t make my pitches. When I did make my pitches they made me pay,” Webster said after the 15-8 loss. “Take it as a lesson learned and move on; try to do better next time.”
“Right from the start, just the inability to establish a certain pitch to a given area to get a strike when needed and when he got behind in the count, then he’s obviously at a disadvantage,” manager John Farrell said of Webster’s outing. “And against this team, if there isn’t a secondary pitch to command behind in the count, we saw it tonight what they can do.”
The Twins put up four runs in the top of the first inning thanks to a pair of walks, a two-run ground-rule double by Justin Morneau, a sacrifice fly and a two-run bomb by Ryan Doumit. But the Red Sox offense got those four runs right back thanks to a Jonny Gomes grand slam, and even spotted Webster a 5-4 lead on a Stephen Drew RBI single.
But Webster didn’t do anything with that lead except give it up. Pedro Florimon, Minnesota’s number-nine hitter, led the inning off with a solo homer to tie the game at 5-5, and five batters later it was 7-5 Twins and Webster was handing the ball over the Farrell.
“The team did all they could to help me out,” said Webster. “If I had went back out there and thrown a zero we probably would have won the game, but I didn’t.”
Webster said he wasn’t pressing, but the command he showed against the Royals escaped him this time out.
“I made a pitch here and there with every one of my pitches, but then I’d miss it and they would make me pay,” he said. “This is the most I’ve had to pay for it.”
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Farrell reiterated after the loss that Doubront (who surrendered six runs over 5.1 innings in relief on Wednesday) will make his next scheduled start, meaning Webster will find himself back in Pawtucket soon.
But that doesn’t mean the Red Sox have lost any faith in one of their top prospects. Every pitcher takes their lumps at the beginning of their career, and the Boston staff made sure to let Webster know with some work, he’ll be back in the majors soon.
“Rome wasn’t built in one day, so go back to square one and keep one working on whatever you have to do,” said Red Sox pitching coach Juan Nieves. “Cy Young winners are working on their craft every day, so no different than him. Sometimes they take their bumps and bruises too.”
“The stuff is there,” said Nieves. “It’s just a matter of him working on whatever he has to do.”