Why you should have cared about this Red Sox game: Allen Webster isn’t trending in right direction
|08.30.14 at 10:11 pm ET|
(For the final month of the regular season, “Closing Time” will now be called “Why you should have cared,” taking into consideration that the Red Sox one day away from entering September 16 games under .500)
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — There was so much hope for Allen Webster in that 2013 spring training.
The vision of an athletic pitcher who consistently cranked his fastball up to 98-99 mph while dropping in an off-the-table changeup had top of the rotation talk coming from all corners of the Red Sox organization.
There was also the positive ’14 spring training, and an encouraging minor-league season this year. Times have changed. Webster continue to do little in the way of positioning himself for a spot on the 2015 roster, struggling once again. This time the righty allowed six runs on five hits and three walks over four innings, taking the loss in the Red Sox‘ 7-0 defeat to the Rays Saturday night.
The outing follows Webster’s last go-round, a 4 1/3-inning, six-run start against Seattle. The hurler’s ERA now stands at 6.69. ‘Inconsistent command,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell of Webster’s start.
“He’d go out and show you good stuff for a couple of hitter stretch and then would lose his fastball command. I thought he flashed very good secondary stuff and a good sinking fastball at times but the inning to inning consistency was lacking here tonight.”
One of Webster’s biggest issues appear to be with runners on base, having come into his seventh major league start with opponents hitting just .185 with nobody on base. This time he allowed runs in each of the innings (second and fourth) there were Rays baserunners.
Another problem for Webster has been getting through lineups for a second and third time. Opponents came into Saturday with a .308 batting average and 1.006 OPS against the pitcher when seeing the pitcher for a second time.
Other things to care about as the Red Sox dropped to 59-76:
— Dustin Pedroia was forced to leave the game in the second inning after being hit in the head by a Logan Forsythe forearm. The play occurred when the second baseman was diving in to tag the Rays baserunner after Forsythe’s drive to deep center. Pedroia immediately slumped face-first to the ground, eventually walking off with Red Sox manager John Farrell and trainer Brad Pearson.
After the game Farrell noted that Pedroia was suffering from concussion-like symptoms and was a “day-to-day” situation.
— Will Middlebrooks managed the only Red Sox hit, while hitting two balls to the warning track. The third baseman — who came in the game when Pedroia left — has now, however, still gone 133 at-bats without a home run. In his first 133 big league at-bats, the righty hitter had accumulated six homers.
— Former Red Sox first baseman Mike Carp has been designated for assignment yet again, this time by the Texas Rangers. Carp had only 46 plate appearances with the Rangers, going 5-for-40 without an extra-base hit.
— Felix Doubront turned in a stellar outing in his first start for the Cubs Saturday, allowing one run on seven hits over seven innings. The performance came on the same mound in St. Louis he had such great success in the World Series as a reliever.
“I was thinking about that, stepping on the mound, and feeling the way I felt in the World Series last year,” Doubront told reporters. “The first inning, second inning were shaky. The third inning, I was feeling that rhythm in the game. This is my team now, and I have to give everything 100 percent that I have and go out and win games and help the guys.”
Doubront beat another former Red Sox hurler, Justin Masterson, who continued his struggles by allowing five runs over 4 1/3 innings. In six starts this month with the Cardinals, the righty has totaled a 7.90 ERA.
— Yet another ex-Red Sox starter, Jake Peavy, took a no-hitter into the eighth inning against the Brewers Saturday. But with one out in the inning, Mark Reynolds blooped a single into right field to break up the no-hit bid in San Francisco.
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