ST. LOUIS — Red Sox manager John Farrell raised eyebrows with his decision to let pitcher Brandon Workman hit for himself in the top of the ninth inning, rather than employing a pinch-hitter (at a time when Mike Napoli, David Ross and Quintin Berry were on the bench). The decision became even more puzzling when, in the bottom of the ninth, Farrell lifted Workman in favor of closer Koji Uehara after a one-out single.
Farrell suggested that he did have the Sox in a flawed position in the batting order, but suggested that the mistake he made occurred when Workman entered the game in the bottom of the eighth, rather than by letting Workman hit for himself in the ninth. In retrospect, Farrell said, he should have employed a double-switch, with Jarrod Saltalamacchia (who made the final out of the top of the eighth inning) getting taken out of the game in favor of David Ross, thus putting Ross (who would have been put in the ninth spot in the lineup) in place to bat second in the ninth inning, and Workman’s spot in the order (seventh) not due up for nine hitters.
“In hindsight, probably should have double-switched after Salty made the final out the previous inning, with Workman coming in the game. I felt like we get into an extended situation, which that game was looking like it was going to — held [Napoli] back in the event that spot came up again,” said Farrell. “In hindsight having Workman hit against [Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal, who blew away Workman on three fastballs] is a mismatch. I recognize it, but we needed more than one inning out of Workman.”
Farrell further clarified that he didn’t want to use Uehara for a full two innings, thus further playing into the decision to let Workman hit in the ninth once he had missed the opportunity to double-switch.
“I felt like we had four outs with Koji, four to five outs,” said Farrell. “If the thought was to go for a two-inning outing for Koji, we would have pinch-hit for Workman the inning before. We were trying to get two innings out of Workman. Once his pitch count was getting in the 30s range, with the go-ahead run on base, that was the time to bring Koji in, even though this would have been five outs. We fully expected him to go back out for the 10th.”
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