Two pitchers made their made their debut in new roles for the Boston Red Sox on Sunday. One of them came close to making history. The other didn’t exactly get off on the right foot.
Brandon Workman was a spot starter for Sunday’s game against the Oakland Athletics. He had only one MLB appearance prior to this. That appearance was on Wednesday in Seattle and it didn’t go very well as he gave up three earned runs in two innings of relief. His counterpart was Bartolo Colon, an overweight 40-year-old, who has thus far this season inexplicably found the same type of success he had earlier in his career. It seemed like a bad match-up.
But this Red Sox team is full of surprises. Workman was workmanlike through six innings of hitless ball. His lone blemish was a walk to catcher John Jaso. Former Red Sox OF Coco Crisp dashed Workman’s chances for the no hit bid when he edged out an infield single to lead off the seventh. The mighty Dustin Pedroia did all he could to make a great play on the ball, and likely could have gotten any other member of the Athletics out. Crisp was too fast though, and third baseman Josh Donaldson made Workman pay when he smoked a home run two batters later to tie the score 2-2.
I’d like to take this moment to apologize to Red Sox nation, as it was largely my fault. I posted a Facebook status mentioning that something special was going on in Oakland. Right on cue Crisp got his hit and several of my friends reminded me what a curse I am.
Nevertheless Workman was great and kept the Red Sox in the game. It wasn’t such a good debut for reliever Matt Thornton. The recently acquired left hander struggled mightily when called upon in the eleventh inning. After walking Chris Young to lead off the inning the speedy OF was sacrificed to second base before Thornton retired Crisp for the second out. He couldn’t get himself out of the jam however, and after walking Jaso gave up the game winning hit to Donaldson.
Oh well. It was just another typical Red Sox game this season in which they received contributions from the least likely places. The outcome obviously wasn’t desirable, but the fact that it takes 11 innings to beat this team on the road tells you all you need to know about the character that they possess.