Farrell: Short, frequent stints allowed Bard to succeed

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Farrell: Short, frequent stints allowed Bard to succeed

The Daniel Bard experiment was nothing short of an epic fail, and one that you can bet has been noticed across the league.

John Farrell, formerly the Red Sox pitching coach during the time when Bard was in a reliever's role, is certainly no exception, and can actually attest to the fact Bard seemed more suited for a reliever's role.

"The only thing I can say knowing Daniel from a time that he converted to the bullpen, I think it allowed him to not pace himself and really attack the strike zone in short stints," Farrell said to CSNNE's Jessica Moran. "That's when we saw the velocity climb. The more frequent use I think allowed him to have a better feel for his delivery, and really to the point of becoming the best set-up man not only in the American League but potentially in the Major Leagues during the couple-year run here in Boston."

Being the best set-up man was not in the best interest of Bard going into the 2012 regular season, and Red Sox -- seemingly short on funds to bring in starting pitching over the offseason -- were content with converting him. But Bard didn't do anything to cement himself in the minds of anyone -- including himself -- as a legitimate starting pitcher in Major League Baseball. Without that confidence on the mound, his play suffered. That said, it shouldn't be an issue getting it back.

"Oh, I think anytime you're talking about a pitcher or position player, confidence has a huge effect on a players performance," Farrell said. "When he was right and confident, I know Tito Terry Francona had no problem calling on him in the most difficult spot in the game and coming in and shutting off a potential rally or threat in a given game. When a player isn't hurt it's a matter of time, I think, before they get back to the level of performance previous."

David Price improves command, indicates he's pitching through ailment

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David Price improves command, indicates he's pitching through ailment

BOSTON — David Price and Rick Porcello showed improvement on back-to-back nights Friday and Saturday, important signs for the Red Sox after a difficult month for both pitchers prior to this homestand.

Price on Saturday night went six innings and allowed three runs, two earned, in a 6-3 loss to the Angels. He fanned five and his velocity has been consistently better this year than last year.

But the most important number was his walk total: one. He walked three batters in his previous start, and four in both of his starts prior.

“Two outings ago, the first start here in Fenway,” Sox manager John Farrell said. “There was better timing in his delivery and overall better separation over the rubber. And he carried that through I thought, even though there's a higher pitch count in Houston, and has been able to maintain it here. I can't say there was one specific thing. It's been more the timing over the rubber. And you're seeing him pitch out of the stretch exclusively. Just less moving parts in a better position to repeat it.”

After Price’s final inning, the telecast captured Price calling pitching coach Carl Willis into the tunnel. Neither Farrell nor Price detailed the conversation. 

“Yeah, everything was fine,” Farrell said of the conversation. “Everything is OK there.”

Price made it sound like he’s dealing with some sort of physical ailment, but was vague.

“There's a lot of stuff going on right now,” the pitcher said when asked about the desire to stay out there. “You don't want it to linger into the next start, or two or three weeks from now, and that's why we did what we did.”

Asked to elaborate, Price reinforced that the decision was to save his body for another day.

“You never want to come out of a game. But you have to look forward at the time,” Price said. “You don’t want today to cost you your next start or you know, the start after that. So that’s what happened.

“It has nothing to do with my elbow or anything like that. This is — you get past one thing and there’s another So that’s what it is.”

Price in New York in early June felt a blister develop on his ring finger. He missed an in-between start bullpen because of it.

Asked about the blister Saturday, Price said, “That one’s gone.”

Farrell indicated the blister was diminished, if not entirely gone.

“He's been dealing with that,” Farrell said. “I think while it's still present and maybe not as severe as it was when it first happened, I'm sure he's going to check on it occasionally."

Red Sox threaten late, but can't come back in 6-3 loss to Angels

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Red Sox threaten late, but can't come back in 6-3 loss to Angels

BOSTON - JC Ramirez rebounded from his shortest career start with six solid innings, Cameron Maybin doubled home a run and scored another and the Los Angeles Angels held off the Boston Red Sox 6-3 on Saturday night.

The Angels look for their fifth series win in their last six on Sunday.

Mitch Moreland hit a solo homer for the Red Sox, who lost for only the third time in their last 13 home games.

Ramirez (7-5) allowed one run and four hits with five strikeouts after lasting just three innings and giving up five runs in his previous start.

Blake Parker struck out pinch-hitter Chris Young with the bases loaded for the final out for his first save of the season after Boston scored twice in the ninth.

Red Sox manager John Farrell was ejected by third-base umpire and crew chief Bill Miller after Fernando Abad was called for a balk, scoring a run that made it 5-1 in the seventh.