For now, at least, John Farrell has seen enough. Two days ago, after Andrew Bailey had allowed a tying homer in the ninth, the Red Sox manager was asked if he had considered going with someone else in the closer's role. "Not yet,'' Farrell said candidly, but the answer suggested a change might not be too far off if Bailey didn't show improvement. Sure enough, when Bailey gave up a walk-off two-run homer to Jhonny Peralta in the ninth inning at Comerica Park Thursday night, turning a 3-2 Red Sox lead into a crushing 4-3 defeat, Farrell was pretty clear. Asked if he had to consider making a change in the closer's role, without hesitation, Farrell responded: "Yeah, I think so. Whether that's backing him out of that to get him some work and get on track a little bit more...what the other internal options are...out of fairness to Andrew and others down there late in the game, we'll talk more about that internall to make a potential change.'' The blown save waa Bailey's second in the last 48 hours, third in the last 11 days and fourth this season. He invited trouble when he walked Victor Martinez, the first hitter he faced in the bottom of the night. Then, after he got ahead of Peralta 1-and-2, he let a cutter catch too much of the plate and Peralta drove it into the left field seats. As Peralta circled the bases, Bailey bent over in front of the mound, his hands on his knees, seemingly in anguish. "Obviously,'' said Farrell, "he's snakebit right now.'' In his past five outings, Bailey has blown three saves. In four-plus innings of work, he's allowed eight hits -- four of them homers -- and seven runs with five walks and an ERA of 15.75. "Very frustrating,'' said Bailey. "Your starting pitcher goes out there against a great offense and pitches a hell of a game. It's very frustrating. You walk the first guy, a 1-and-2 pitch and you know, just like that. "But once again, I've got to make better pitches. I just have to find a way to grind through it. Everything feels good. I'm just missing spots and I have to keep on grinding through it.'' Bailey acknowledged that he was violating the "cardinal rule'' in allowing the leadoff hitter to reach base against him. "You can't let the first guy reach base, let alone the tying run,'' said Bailey. "I'm just not being myself out there and I have to pitch better.'' Bailey said he felt good getting ahead of Peralta, but then failed to "execute the right pitch and that's what happens when you're ahead in the count and leave one over the plate.'' When asked if he understood Farrell's decision to likely make a change at the closer's role, Bailey said: "Yeah, I haven't talked to him about that. If he feels that need is necessary, that's his decision. I have to go out and get people out. That's the bottom line. Whatever situation he wants that it, that's his call.'' Part of the issue may be Bailey's slightly diminished velocity. Before he went on the disabled list earlier this year, Bailey's fastball was 96 mph or better. More recently, he's topped out at 94. The dropoff has mystified both pitcher and manager.
Farrell: Time for a change at closer
NBC Sports Boston | Jun 21