Brandon Workman

Added rest pays dividends for Brandon Workman with strong start Monday night

August 18, 2014 - 8:54 pm

Maybe a little rest was all Brandon Workman needed to get back on track. After losing his last five starts and posting a 6.35 ERA since June 27, Workman was skipped in the rotation by Red Sox manager John Farrell in order to give him some rest and work on his mechanics. The result was Workman's seventh loss in his last seven appearances Monday night, but the extra time proved valuable as the right-hander was back to his early-season form. His two runs allowed matched his second fewest in a start this season and fewest since June 15. He gave up six hits, walked two and struck out five over seven innings.

"The added rest helped," Farrell said of Workman. "I thought his stuff ticked up in terms of action, crispness, velocity. He was down in the strike zone with more consistency. With the exception of a two-out walk in the third [and] a couple of base hits to follow, he more than did his job tonight."

Workman said the added rest was beneficial for him. Not only did it show in his increased velocity, but he also stayed in command and got ahead of hitters, throwing 19 first-pitch strikes.

"I definitely think it had to have helped," Workman said of the rest. "My velocity was better. I had a chance to work on some things mechanically. I felt good tonight. I felt like I had a nice rhythm and I was able to carry that through."

He added: "Any pitcher will tell you, it's easier when you're working ahead of hitters, kind of on the aggressive side toward them. I was able to do that tonight. I was getting guys to swing at some pitches out of the zone."

The 25-year-old said part of his recent struggles had been a result of rushing his pitches and not finishing them, which led to a lot of balls left up in the zone.

The only trouble Workman faced Monday came against Mike Trout. Arguably the most dangerous hitter in the big leagues, Trout went 2-for-4 with an RBI double and run scored, with both hits coming off Workman.

Trout ripped a cutter to left in his first at-bat, then drove a 3-2 fastball away off the Wall in left before Workman got him to strike out swinging on a two-strike curveball in the fifth.

"I just try to keep him off balance, make him hit tough pitches," Workman said.

Aside from that two-run Angels third, however, Workman's effort Monday was an encouraging sign for a young pitcher trying to rediscover some consistency mechanically.

"I felt a lot better," he said. "I was throwing the ball where I wanted to for the most part. I was throwing a lot of strikes, getting ahead of hitters. I felt good tonight."