Farrell: Pitch execution root of Lackey's struggles

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Farrell: Pitch execution root of Lackey's struggles

BOSTON -- It's not that John Lackey has lost his stuff. According to former Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell, the struggling starter's pitch execution is causing his ineffectiveness.

Farrell, who now manages the Toronto Blue Jays, told Comcast SportsNet New England's Carolyn Manno he notices little change in Lackey between 2010 and 2011.

"There's not a drastic difference. You still see the same quality of stuff," said Farrell, whose Blue Jays have tagged Lackey for 20 earned runs in three starts this season. "When you look at the three starts that John made against us this year, he's pitched with similar velocity as last year. It's just the consistency of location inside the strike zone."

Lackey has a 5-8 record with a 7.47 ERA in 2011, a marked decline from his 14-11, 4.40 ERA 2010 campaign. He was voted Theo Epstein's biggest mistake by CSNNE.com visitors.

When asked how Lackey can fix his problems on the mound, Farrell coyly refused to give away any trade secrets, as any opposing manager would.

"I'm sure he and new Sox pitching coach Curt Young are working very hard to get that done," he said.