Red Sox Reliever Ryan Brasier Reveals What ‘Lit Fire’ Under Hit Butt

'It's been a tough year'

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Ryan Brasier was fired up after getting himself out of a bases-loaded jam Saturday in a tight game against the Washington Nationals.

And for good reason.

The Boston Red Sox reliever was throwing on a fourth consecutive day. And in a one-run game, stranding three Nationals batters was crucial in helping his team earn a 5-3 win and push to continue their season.

And with everything Brasier has gone through this year, his reaction after that second strikeout was warranted.

“I don’t really get that intense and stuff after a pitch but, like I said, it’s been a tough year and getting to keep throwing in games like this and in tight spots it just, you know, kind of came out,” Brasier said after the game.

“Today was the first time I’ve ever pitched four days in a row. It’s crazy, you know? Getting to pitch in some situations that (will) make or break the season and being able to get out of some tough spots.”

Brasier finally debuted for the Red Sox in September after being derailed with a calf injury, the death of his father and a concussion after being hit in the head with a line drive in a rehab start.

He couldn’t quite catch a break, but that time away has made him appreciate every opportunity to help Boston.

“I think pitching four days in a row, somebody asked me, ‘Do I need a day?’ And I said I had five months worth of days,” Brasier said. “I am more than ready to keep it going and keep pitching in these situations and taking the ball whenever they need me to.”

In Brasier’s last four outings, he’s thrown 3 1/3 innings and gave up just one hit. He has a 0.00 ERA through his last eight appearances with eight strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings pitched with just two walks — holding batters to a .087 average.

“He’s been amazing for us,” manager Alex Cora said after the game. “Tough pocket for him right there, right, with some of the lefties. But his fastball is playing, his fastball is playing.”

It wasn’t that way at first, though.

Brasier admitted his initial return wasn’t what he hoped for, and while the Red Sox faced a roster crunch, he briefly was optioned to Triple-A Worcester.

That just gave him more motivation, though.

“I don’t think anybody ever likes to get optioned, but like I said the other day, I’ve been around baseball for for a while now and I know moves have to be made and stuff has to happen,” Brasier said. “But yeah, it lit a fire under my butt and I knew I had to come back and go prove myself again and again. Fortunately I keep getting these situations where I can go in and keep doing it.”

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