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McGair: PawSox' Webster cool customer in first Triple-A test

April 5, 2013

By BRENDAN McGAIR
Sports writer
MOOSIC, Pa. – In the eyes of some, Allen Webster passed his Triple-A debut with flying colors.
As far as the promising pitcher is concerned, the fact he ended up tossing five shutout innings of two-run ball with five strikeouts and three walks doesn’t paint the entire picture. Regarded as the top pitching prospect in Boston’s minor-league system, Webster said that things could have gone better Friday night as Pawtucket rallied for its second straight win against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, 9-4.
“I struggled with my command early in the game but was able to find it in the fourth and fifth (innings),” stated Webster.
Webster was referencing the back-to-back walks he issued with two down in the first inning. To his credit, he got the free-swinging Melky Mesa to chase a pitch out of the zone for strike three.
The RailRiders placed the lead runner on in innings 2-4, yet no damage ensued. Asked about making pitches when he had to, Webster answered, “It’s always a moral victory, especially when you’re able to keep your team in the game.”
PawSox pitching coach Rich Sauveur visited Webster with two down in the fifth. Needed one more out in order to qualify for the victory – at the time Pawtucket was up 3-0 – Sauveur reminded Webster that he was nearing his pitch limit.
His 85th and final pitch of the outing was an 82 mph slider that froze Scranton’s David Adams.
“(Sauveur) told me that (Adams) would be my last batter,” said Webster. “He was also giving the guys in the bullpen more time.”
Webster attacked the RailRiders with mainly fastballs and sliders with a few changeups sprinkled in. Though throwing curveballs is part of his repertoire, Webster said he felt comfortable enough to shelve the pitch for at least one evening.
“The slider was working and we stuck with it,” said Webster.
PawSox manager Gary DiSarcina said that the weather should be taken into account when grading Webster’s performance (the game time temperature was 51 degrees).
“On a really cold night when the wind was tough, I thought he threw well,” said DiSarcina. “We’ve seen him better in spring training and I’m sure he had some adrenaline going, but overall I thought it was good.”

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