For the first time in nearly a year, Ryan Brasier got the ball in relief for the Boston Red Sox.
Brasier hadn’t appeared for the Red Sox in 2021 after a tumultuous start to the season. His father, David Brasier, died at the start of spring training.
Upon his return, Brasier was struck down by a series of injuries — beginning with a calf injury and concluding with the one you never want to see: while pitching a simulated game in Fort Myers, Brasier was hit in the head by a line drive. He ultimately was diagnosed with a concussion.
On Friday — almost three months to the day of that game in Florida — Brasier tossed 2/3 innings in a win against the Cleveland Indians. He allowed one run on two hits and a walk. And while he was hoping to fare better on the hill, Brasier was pleased with his personal performance and that of his teammates.
“Super excited obviously,” he said after the game. “Felt good to finally be back on a big league mound after almost a full year. Super excited, felt good. Obviously the results weren’t what I wanted from my first one back. Couple bad luck hits, and we got one of the best relievers in baseball out there ready to take the ball in (Garrett Whitlock). He came in and did what he’s been doing all year for us.”
Red Sox manager Alex Cora expressed a similar sentiment after the game — promising that there will be more work for the reliever down the line.
“Glad that he’s back,” Cora said. “Obviously I bet it was a very emotional day, emotional night. He will help us … Very happy for (Brasier.) Now he can breathe. We’ll use him in the right situations.”
There’s bound to be bumps in the road for Brasier, but it was good to see him back after all this time.