Tommy Layne

Red Sox reliever Tommy Layne will never forget his first win

John Tomase
March 17, 2015 - 8:14 am

It wasn't quite Carl Hubbell at the 1934 All-Star Game, but Tommy Layne will never forget his first win. The left-hander, who's battling Brandon Workman for the final spot in the Red Sox bullpen, earned his first victory with the Padres in September of 2012, and it wasn't a gimme. Called upon to pitch for the eighth time in 10 days, Layne faced the Murderer's Row of the Dodgers lineup in the 10th inning of a tie game: Adrian Gonzalez, Matt Kemp, and Hanley Ramirez. Three strikeouts later, Lane was back in the dugout. The Padres then scored three in the 11th to take the 6-3 win and get Layne in the record book. "I remember them all," Layne said recently. "Going into that day, I think I was going on six straight days of pitching, so (manager) Buddy Black had told me before the day even started, 'We're going to try to stay away from you if we can.' So it wasn't like I was checked out, but when we got to the ninth and I still hadn't gotten into the game, I figured I wasn't going to get into the game." Black needed to burn four relievers just to reach the 10th, however, so Layne got the call. First up, the batter Layne considers his nemesis: Gonzalez. "They're all great, but Adrian is by far my toughest out," Layne said. "It doesn't matter where I throw it. In, out, up, down, he gets a piece of it. He'll foul me off and stay alive. I ended up striking him out on a cutter that I made a slider over the middle of the plate. I went back and watched the video. His hole is down over the plate that he swings and misses. Instead of throwing a cutter away, I basically made my cutter look bigger and threw a slider down the middle." Gonzalez (1-for-4 against Layne lifetime) swung through it. "That was cool," Layne said. "Once I got past him, I felt like, 'OK, I can get through this inning.'" He punched out Kemp swinging on a high fastball, and then set up Ramirez to look for something inside before freezing him with a backdoor slider for strike three. Layne has since added three more wins -- they're hard to come by for left-handed specialists -- but he'll never forget his first. "I didn't have much," Layne said, "but I threw it up there and ended up getting them. Adrian, Kemp, Hanley. It was the meat of the order. It was awesome."