CINCINNATI -- Red Sox manager John Farrell didn't get to see his son, Luke, pitch much when he was a kid. But on Saturday, Farrell had the best view any father could ever have to watch his boy on the mound.The skipper watched from the visitors' dugout as Luke Farrell
CINCINNATI -- Red Sox manager John Farrell didn't get to see his son, Luke, pitch much when he was a kid. But on Saturday, Farrell had the best view any father could ever have to watch his boy on the mound.
The skipper watched from the visitors' dugout as Luke Farrell delivered a scoreless and hitless ninth inning for the Reds, walking two and striking out one before the Red Sox completed their 5-0 win.
"A little added pressure for sure," Luke Farrell said. "That's the first time we've been on the same field together. You want to do well for your team, obviously, but with your dad right there, you want to do a little bit better."
With his team trailing by a large margin, Reds manager Bryan Price summoned Luke Farrell from the bullpen in a low leverage situation. It created a unique and special moment.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the first time in Major League history that a pitcher worked against a team managed by his father. And it was the first time since 2004 that a son played against a team managed by his father in the Majors. Outfielder Moises Alou of the Cubs played against Felipe Alou's Giants in 2004.
"A great memory," Price said of Saturday's game. "I think it was important that Luke went in there and didn't give up any runs. That was equally important. Luke went through what it was like to be the child of somebody in professional baseball. That is probably a fair amount of time spent away when John was coaching and doing all of his baseball activities. Now, they work for two completely different organizations, and he has an opportunity to see his son from across the field competing against his team, and it worked out really well."
As Luke Farrell pitched, John Farrell was positioned at the home-plate side of the Boston dugout and looked intently at the mound. Of course, he'd be watching any game he managed closely, but this also wasn't just any game.
"A class move by Bryan to put him in the game," John Farrell said. "[Luke] has earned his way, and we'll see what unfolds and transpires through the course of time. Just very proud to watch him on a Major league mound."
Luke admitted that he stole a look into the Red Sox's dugout after he warmed up. But then he focused and went to work. His first batter was pinch-hitter Sam Travis, who whiffed on a 1-2 fastball for the strikeout.
"Coming out of the bullpen is new for me, so a first-pitch strike and first out of the inning has been really important for me," Luke Farrell said. "You just kind of build off of that for that inning rather than get a first guy on and you're immediately in the hole. Getting the first guy out, especially on a punchout, a little confidence boost and go from there."
The next two batters -- Xander Bogaerts and Brock Holt -- worked walks, with Holt's coming on four pitches. But the right-hander was able to shut down the threat of his own creation by getting Andrew Benintendi to line out to first base and Mitch Moreland to fly out to center field.
With the inning complete, Luke looked into the third-base dugout and saw John tip his cap. Luke returned a tipped cap back.
When Luke Farrell was with the Royals' organization, John was granted a day off so he could be in the seats to see his son make his Major League debut on July 1 in Kansas City vs. the Twins.
Saturday's moment could have topped that.
"Somewhat surreal. Very proud," John Farrell said. "You're standing there looking through a netting in the dugout and you're thinking you're maybe watching him in Little League or high school or so many of the different stages. To see it happen on a Major League mound, a special day, a special inning. Extremely, extremely proud."
After the game, the Farrells had dinner plans together.
"Hopefully, he's buying," Luke said.
Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.