Farrell on Lester, Buchholz, Lackey


Farrell on Lester, Buchholz, Lackey

Red Sox manager John Farrell knows the Red Sox pitching staff more than most people do since his days as the team's pitching coach.

For that reason, he must have noticed a few things they were doing wrong out on the mound watching from the visitors dugout. CSNNE.com's Sean McAdam asks him how "mystified" he was at their struggles. Here's part of the answer:

"Across the field you saw some things that were tangible that you'd like to say that we could make an adjustment and fix things to get back to the late action to Lester's cutter, the sink action to his two-seamer," Farrell said. "He got spread out, got a little bit flat, the ball was on the same plane through the strike zone, and that's why I think you saw the number of extra base hits that he surrendered this year."

So just how content is Farrell with where the staff as a whole is now? Well, it appears as though Boston is looking to add some outside pieces if the players fit.

"As we go into Spring training, if we don't add anyone else, we're likely to stretch out Franklin Morales, to bring him in as a starter ... I think there's still every intent and every potential to talk about every free agent starting pitcher that may be out there. I know we've continued to explore some things in other avenues, but that's where, as I mentioned, Ben has been extremely busy, and is doing one heck of a job to address the needs that are here. And we came in knowing that starting pitching was one that we'd like to add to if it made sense."

Check out the video for more, including Farrell's expectations for John Lackey.

Celtics miss an opportunity in first half with LeBron in foul trouble

Celtics miss an opportunity in first half with LeBron in foul trouble

CLEVELAND – There are 240 minutes of play in an NBA game, but Boston’s 112-99 Game 4 loss to Cleveland came down to seven (six minutes and 46 seconds to be precise).

That would be the amount of time left in the second quarter that LeBron James spent on the bench with four personal fouls (a first for him in the first half of an NBA playoff game ever) and Boston ahead by 10 points.

Boston could not have asked for a better scenario than that, especially considering how well they had played up to that point in the game and again, knowing that James wasn’t about to set foot back on the court until the third quarter.

But here’s the problem.

Boston’s 10-point lead when James left with four fouls.

Halftime rolled around and Boston’s lead was still at just 10 points.

Celtics players agreed that not finding a way to increase their lead with James out was among the more pivotal stretches of play in Game 4.

“They did a really good job of not letting it (the 10-point lead) get out of control while he was on the bench,” Boston’s Marcus Smart told CSNNE.com. “Every time we scored, they came back and scored.  They answered back with everything we answered.”

While many will point to that stretch as a time when the Celtics failed to make the necessary adjustments to increase their chances of winning, it wasn’t as if the Cavs are a one-man team.

“They still have two All-Stars out on the court,” said Boston’s head coach Brad Stevens, referring to Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. “With the best player in the world they go to unreal, but they’re still a pretty darned good team when those guys are out there.”

Irving had a playoff career-high 42 points which included him scoring 12 of Cleveland’s 14 points in the final 6:46 of the second with James on the bench.

“He’s one of the best point guards in the NBA, and you know, you can tell he puts in a lot of work in his game, a lot of respect from myself, my teammates,” said Avery Bradley. “We have to do a better job at defending him as a unit, trying to make everything hard on him. He definitely got a great rhythm going tonight, and I felt like we had a chance to make it harder on him.”

James still finished with a strong stat line for the night – 34 points, six assists, five rebounds and a blocked shot.

As good as he was on the court, the Celtics have to be kicking themselves for not doing more with the time James on the bench in the second quarter which in hindsight, was among the bigger factors in them now returning home facing elimination as opposed to being tied at two games apiece in this series.

“What are you going to do?” said Cleveland’s Kevin Love. “You have to continue to fight through it. At halftime, we were down 10. We made some adjustments on the defensive end and we just fought; we needed to. They got everything out of us tonight in that second half, but we played more inspired basketball as well.”