John Farrell made a mistake in Game 3 of the World Series. And he seems to know it.
Farrell made a head-scratching decision Saturday when he let pitcher Brandon Workman, who entered the game in the eighth inning, bat with one out in the top of the ninth inning. Workman — as you might have guessed — struck out, while Mike Napoli, who was on the bench with David Ortiz playing first base, never got into the game, as the Cardinals walked off with the win in the bottom of the ninth.
The move was questionable at the time it was made, but it became even more baffling when Farrell took out Workman out in favor of Koji Uehara after Yadier Molina singled with one out in the bottom of the ninth.
“I felt like we had four outs with Koji — four to five outs,” Farrell said after the game. “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 30’s 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.”
Farrell seemed to regret ever putting himself into that situation, though. The skipper said after the game that he probably should have executed a double-switch when Workman entered in the bottom of the eighth inning, rather than simply inserting the new pitcher.
“In hindsight, probably should have double-switched after Salty [Jarrod Saltalamacchia] 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,” Farrell said. “In hindsight, having Workman hit against [Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal] is a mismatch. I recognize it, but we needed more than one inning out of Workman.”
If Farrell took out Saltalamacchia, who made the final out of the top of the eighth inning, in favor of David Ross as part of a double-switch, Ross would have batted second for the Red Sox in the ninth inning. Workman would have slid into Saltalamacchia’s spot in the order, thus avoiding the whole situation.
Hindsight is certainly 20/20. But that does nothing to erase the image of Workman getting dominated by Rosenthal on three straight pitches in the ninth inning of a tie game.