Amidst the organized chaos on the field at Fenway Park as Saturday night to turned to Sunday morning, Brandon Workman, dripping a combination of champagne and perspiration, sought out and embraced one teammate in particular: Xander Bogaerts.
These two rookies, a 25-year-old right-handed pitcher and a 21-year-old infielder, savored part of the moment together — and for good reason. Six months ago, as the Red Sox began a turnaround season to just about everyone’s surprise, they were enduring long bus rides and frigid Maine nights with the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs.
“I just grabbed Bogaerts and said, ‘We’re a long way from Portland right now, aren’t we?’ ” said Workman, about as jubilant as one would expect a veteran of exactly 23 major league games to be. “Obviously for both of us it’s what we planned on — well, not planned, but were hoping to do this year, and to be able to do it, and both of us contributing a little bit, it’s special right now.”
After pitching effectively with Portland for two months, Workman left Bogaerts and the Sea Dogs for Triple-A Pawtucket, where he stayed for about a month until injuries to the major league team necessitated his call-up. Bogaerts, meanwhile, made the jump to the PawSox five days after Workman did, and he continued to display the skills that made him the organization’s top prospect: power and patience at the plate combined with a will to learn in the field and maturity beyond his years off of it.
Bogaerts made his much-anticipated big league debut Aug. 20 in San Francisco, and despite sporadic play since has earned himself what seems to be a regular spot in the postseason lineup.
Now, with the Red Sox off to their third World Series in a decade, the pair has its fingerprints all over the Red Sox’ American League Championship Series title, clinched by Saturday’s 5-2 win over the Tigers.
Bogaerts struck first. He sent a screaming two-out double off of the Green Monster — a liner that would have been out in a lot of parks, including Fenway had it been a few feet to the right. Jacoby Ellsbury drove him in one pitch later with a single to right to break a scoreless tie.
Workman’s contribution came just half an inning later, but at a time when things were looking far bleaker for the Sox. The Tigers had just taken a 2-1 lead and were threatening for more with men on the corners and no one out. Manager John Farrell brought Workman in to face Jhonny Peralta, one of Detroit’s hottest hitters.
Peralta sent an 0-1 fastball to Dustin Pedroia at second and it turned into two outs. Pedroia tagged Victor Martinez, his former teammate who was running to second, then fired home to Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who ran Prince Fielder back toward third. Fielder’s belly-flop back to the bag fell far short, and Saltalamacchia fell on him for the second out. Alex Avila watched a 94 mph fastball for strike three to end the inning.
“I thought we were just going to get a regular double play,” Workman said. “My back was turned and I didn’t see what Fielder was doing. Next thing I know, it looked like Pedey was about to throw a ball through my chest to the plate, so I just hit the dirt. I was trying to stay out of the way.”
Workman returned for the seventh, but after retiring the first two batters, Jose Iglesias singled and Torii Hunter reached on a dribbler Workman couldn’t get a grip on. Junichi Tazawa escaped the jam to make Workman’s line final 1 2/3 scoreless innings, two hits, one strikeout.
“Workman tonight,” Farrell started, “outstanding inning-plus on his part.”
The Sox’ seventh-inning rally culminated in Shane Victorino’s series-winning grand slam, and Bogaerts was again in the middle of it. He drew a walk — his second of the game and fifth in 11 postseason plate appearances — as the last batter likely AL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer faced.
That plate appearance was consistent with his first two, and, really, consistent with his season. Bogaerts worked the count full all three times he stepped up to the plate, seeing a total of 19 pitches, nearly a fifth of Scherzer’s 110 on the night.
Bogaerts’ first time up was particularly impressive. He went down 0-2 — both fastballs called strikes — before taking a number of close pitches.
“I know [Scherzer is] an amazing pitcher, but the first at-bat I took two fastballs,” Bogaerts said, as even-keeled as ever. “I just wanted to see his angle, see where the ball comes out because I’d never faced him. I ended up having a good day and we won.”
Added Farrell: “Much like we’ve gotten reports all year long from our development staff, he’s beyond his years. He’s got a bright, bright future.”
The rookies’ contributions underscore the Red Sox philosophy of just how important it is to groom your own talent.
“Those two guys certainly played a part of [the win],” said Ben Crockett, director of player development, getting in on the celebration on the field. “And I think from top to bottom we’re all very proud of the contributions they made.”
Workman, still trying to find words to describe not only the rush of winning the pennant but the journey that he and Bogaerts took to get there, put it simply.
“It’s worked out for both of us,” Workman said. “It’s been a hell of a ride.”
A ride that that has yet to end.
Pete, Thornton and Price give their final thoughts and predictions for the Super Bowl.
Gabe calls the boys to handicap one of the biggest gambling days of the year - Super Bowl 51! Gabe has all the point spread info down and gets to all of the major prop bets that interest him.
Fauria is still down in Houston and calls live from NRG Stadium to give his take on what will go down later on in Super Bowl 51. He likes the Pats and gives his reasons why, but also gets into the scene in Houston all week, famous people he met and why he is tired out from a wild week.
The NBA trade rumor mill is beginning to swirl as the deadline approaches and Picard is ready to go! He talks about the possibility of Jimmy Butler coming to Boston, why Isaiah Thomas is not getting enough respect and the future of the Celtics.
Adrian Wojnarowski has been talking about the possibility of the Celtics making a trade with the Bulls to bring Jimmy Butler to Boston. He actually thinks it may be the the marquee deal to keep an eye on this week heading into the trade deadline. Pete and Jerry discuss and give their thoughts on if they would want Butler. Pete thinks it will happen, Jerry thinks Ainge will stay put. The guys get into more Celtics, present and future and if they can battle with the best of the NBA.
Anna Horford, sister of Boston Celtics Al Horford, makes her Boston radio debut. She talks about Twitter and reacting to mean tweets about her brother. She also gives us her thoughts on the city of Boston and racism.
Bradford checks in from spring training to give us all the media dirt he can dig up...oh, and talk some baseball too.
Rob Bradford is joined by Lou Merloni to talk life in spring training, his toiletries, sleeping arrangements, and facing off with Red Sox personnel that he might have been critical of. Rob and Lou also get into the dynamic of electronic and print media when it comes to ripping the Red Sox.
Pete, Bradford, and Tomase are talking all about the Boston Red Sox, who opened spring training on Monday with pitchers and catchers reporting. They talk about what the Red Sox approach at the plate will be to replace the loss of David Ortiz bat, the impact of some players participating in the WBC, and of course the pitching rotation.
Guys talk the Bruins season so far and the All-Star Break
Guys discuss if or when the Bruins will fire Coach Julian
Ken, Rear and Ty get into a very solid week for the B's beating St Louis and the Flyers and losing a hard-fought game against the Predators. Is this team turning things around? Krug and Marchand are kicking things up a notch. The guys also talk about Claude and Sweeney's job security before getting into some big hits around the league this week.
Hour 4. Red Sox broadcaster Dave O'Brien joins the show.
Hour 3. The guys take more calls on transgender bathrooms. Evan Drellich joins the show...again.
Dino reunites with the guys at spring training.
Max Kellerman rips Pats fans. Skip Bayless says Bill Belichick is "good, not great." And Dan Le Batard feels the heat from Keyshawn Johnson regarding his criticisms of Magic Johnson.
It took a few hours, but Glenn finally starts to agree with Lou and Mut about Danny Ainge.
Obviously the Celtics aren't expected to overtake the Cavs in the East, but the guys wonder if the team is trying to get a little bit better each year, or hold onto their assets until LeBron is over the hill.
Dale, Michael and Rich Keefe discuss the C's lack of moves at the NBA trade deadline and try and figure out why, and what is the next best opportunity for the Celts to make a move?
Dale, Michael and Keefe discuss the comments made by Dave Dombrowski on K&C this morning concerning John Farrell and his in-game management.
We close out the show with the best sound bites of the day.
Kirk and Glenn continue their conversation from last week. In this episode Kirk and Glenn scream at each other about the infamous "station incident", what the news of the merger means to WEEI and the Sports Hub, and Kirk tries to get Glenn to answer what the perfect "Big Show" would be. You will not find a better look behind the scenes of radio.
Kirk sits down with the legend Glenn Ordway to talk about when Glenn got fired here at WEEI, his start with the station, the controversial decisions he made when he was the Program Director, and he relationship with Eddie Andelman.
Kirk chats with David Duchovny about his current music tour, which takes him to the Wilbur on February 22nd, how David got his start in television, from his first stint on Red Shoe Diaries, becoming a superstar on the X-Files, and his hilarious appearances on the Larry Sanders Show. This is a fascinating discussion about show business and controlling your own career.
Ken Laird and Chris Curtis recap Wednesday and Thursday's K&C shows on location in Ft. Myers
Kirk and Glenn continue their conversation from last week. In this episode Kirk and Glenn scream at each other about the infamous "station incident", what the news of the merger means to WEEI and the Sports Hub, and Kirk tries to get Glenn to answer what the perfect "Big Show" would be.
Rich Keefe & Ryan Davey talk best and worst movie/TV presidents. Plus the always important "This Week in #DORK" and the Pick of the Podcast.
Hour 4. Evan Drellich joins the show. A fight for the ages ensues.More from this show
Kirk and Glenn continue their conversation from last week. In this episode Kirk and Glenn scream at each other about the infamous "station incident", what the news of the merger means to WEEI and the Sports Hub, and Kirk tries to get Glenn to answer what the perfect "Big Show" would be.More from this show
Kirk and Glenn continue their conversation from last week. In this episode Kirk and Glenn scream at each other about the infamous "station incident", what the news of the merger means to WEEI and the Sports Hub, and Kirk tries to get Glenn to answer what the perfect "Big Show" would be. You will not find a better look behind the scenes of radio.More from this show
Hour 1. Evan Drellich attacked Kirk and Gerry for their interview with John Farrell. Kirk had an accident.More from this show
Dino reunites with the guys at spring training.More from this show