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John Farrell: ‘Erratic’ Felix Doubront can’t pick up defense (or himself) in ‘terrible’ loss

04.25.14 at 12:33 am ET
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It was a night that John Farrell and the Red Sox desperately needed a mentally tough pitcher on the mound.

Felix Doubront was not that pitcher Thursday night.

In one of the ugliest games of the Farrell era in Boston, the Red Sox committed four errors in the first three innings, finishing with five on the night, while adding three wild pitches, 12 walks and a passed ball in a 14-5 loss to the New York Yankees Thursday night at Fenway Park. In the two losses to the Yankees, the Red Sox allowed 10 unearned runs.

Doubront was shelled for seven runs, three earned, on six hits and lasted just 2 2/3 innings, falling to 1-3 on the season. Doubront got out of the first inning down just 1-0 on the first of three errors from Xander Bogaerts and a passed ball from David Ross.

In the second inning, Doubront wasn’t as lucky. He was victimized by a Dustin Pedroia drop at second base, two wild pitches of his own doing, and two hits as the Yankees scored three times for a 4-0 lead. Add in two more errors in the third, one committed by Doubront himself, and three hits and the Yankees had a 7-0 lead. Doubront threw 73 pitches in just 2 2/3 innings of work.

“It was a bad night,” Doubront lamented afterward. “I couldn’t get my job done. It was probably a loss of concentration. That’s what happened. It was terrible.”

“Once again, spotting the opponent a number of runs to get behind early. Felix was erratic with his command. We contributed with some plays defensively to extend a couple of those innings and the sooner we move past this one the better,” Farrell added.

Farrell insisted with his team and Doubront the effort is there but the focus might not be.

“The effort is there,” Farrell said. “Their work ethic is consistent and yet an error has not only extending innings but then where a pitching staff or an individual pitcher could pick up a defensive player, that hasn’t happened. And it’s led to some situations where we’ve gotten behind early in the game.”

“The error? I don’t know. I saw the ball and then it disappeared. It disappeared from my eyes,” Doubront said. “I was trying to do too much. I’m going to continue to keep my focus and attitude. When I have runners in scoring position, I have to do better than that.”

So what does Doubront need to do to replicate his outings in New York the first time on April 13 and last Saturday against Baltimore?

“As we’ve seen a number of times, by the time he gets into the flow of the game and the rhythm of the game, it’s been a couple of innings. That’s not necessarily uncommon for a pitcher,” Farrell said. “But on a night, against a very good offense, when you give extra outs, we’re asking for trouble, and that was the case.”

In that third inning, when the Yankees scored three runs, New York ran wild on Doubront, stealing three bases, including Brett Gardner stealing second and third without a look from Doubront.

“To me, that kind of shows maybe the game sped up on him a little bit in that situation,” Farrell said. “Anytime you see that being exploited, there’s focus being given to executing a pitch solely, and the awareness of controlling the running game gets left behind a little bit, and they were able to exploit that.

“The inconsistency. He came off a start in which he threw the ball very well against Baltimore. He got into a better flow a couple of starts prior in New York where he got into the seventh inning for us. But tonight, this is one when we needed another deep start to help the bullpen catch up, that wasn’t there.”

Added Doubront, “I can’t explain it man, That’s baseball. The starters know it’s rough when you’re done like that. But you have to be mentally strong and you have to prepare for the next outing. I can’t explain that. Always, you have to come back strong. I’m going to be prepared for the next game and do my best.

“I’m looking for that. Things are going to be well soon. I’m going to have that stretch really good. I’m positive and I’m going to try to do my best the next outing.”

That next outing will come back at Fenway next Wednesday against Tampa Bay.

Read More: Boston Red Sox, felix doubront, John Farrell, MLB
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