Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports

The best Red Sox story almost nobody is talking about

Rob Bradford
August 11, 2017 - 12:56 pm

The last time Brandon Workman was in New York he didn't throw a fastball harder than 90 mph. That was June 8.

A few days later, the reliever was back in Triple-A, seemingly resigned to his new lot in life. After two years of elbow issues, the fastball that impressed so many during his rookie year of 2013 was going to be a thing of the past.

"I really wasn't worry that I was never going to able to pitch well, or have success or anything. But there were points early in this year I wasn't sure if the velocity was going to come back to where it is now or where I was before," Workman said. "It had been close to two years so I was kind of wrapping my head around that I was going to have to pitch at 88-91 [mph] the rest of my life. I wasn't worried that I couldn't have success, but I thought I might have to be a different style of pitcher."

But then, out of nowhere, a baseball miracle took place.

"I threw a ball in Pawtucket after I had been sent down after we were in New York. I went out and threw one and thought, 'That was pretty hard.' I looked back at the board and it was 94 [mph]," he said. "I'm like, 'OK, there it is.' And I've kind of had it since then. It was just out of nowhere."

Since then, Workman has become one of the best relievers not only on the Red Sox, but in all of baseball.

The righty was called up in mid-July and made his first appearance July 15. That game, also against the Yankees, Workman topped out at 95 mph.

Since coming back to the majors with his newfound velocity, the reliever has appeared in 12 games, giving up two runs in 15 innings (1.20 ERA), striking out 15 and walking just two. The results, along with the velocity, is offering the same image Workman presented in 2013, when he didn't allow an earned run in seven postseason appearances.

"I feel like I'm as good as I've ever been, right now. I can execute pitches better than I've ever been able to, and the stuff is the same if not a little better. I've felt as good as I've ever felt," Workman said. "I feel a lot better about how I'm throwing the ball than I ever have in my life."

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