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By BRENDAN McGAIR
MOOSIC, Pa. â€“ 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 doesnâ€™t paint the entire picture. Regarded as the top pitching prospect in Bostonâ€™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.
â€śI struggled with my command early in the game but was able to find it in the fourth and fifth (innings),â€ť 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, â€śItâ€™s always a moral victory, especially when youâ€™re able to keep your team in the game.â€ť
PawSox pitching coach Rich Sauveur visited Webster with two down in the fifth. Needed one more out in order to qualify for the victory â€“ at the time Pawtucket was up 3-0 â€“ 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 Scrantonâ€™s David Adams.
â€ś(Sauveur) told me that (Adams) would be my last batter,â€ť said Webster. â€śHe was also giving the guys in the bullpen more time.â€ť
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.
â€śThe slider was working and we stuck with it,â€ť said Webster.
PawSox manager Gary DiSarcina said that the weather should be taken into account when grading Websterâ€™s performance (the game time temperature was 51 degrees).
â€śOn a really cold night when the wind was tough, I thought he threw well,â€ť said DiSarcina. â€śWeâ€™ve seen him better in spring training and Iâ€™m sure he had some adrenaline going, but overall I thought it was good.â€ť