FORT MYERS, Fla. - Mark Melancon hit that proverbial “bump in the road” Monday vs. the Twins, but he feels better times are ahead.
The Red Sox’ new set-up man allowed three runs and three hits in taking the loss vs. Minnesota.
“It had felt really good until yesterday (Monday) and then I hit a bump in the road,” Melancon said. “I was working on different stuff - most the changeup. My curveball is gonna come. Not quite there yet. The consistency of everything is not there as a whole as I want it to be. I’m not necessarily worried about it,” he said..
Melancon said his secondary pitches are always a little behind because “they’re more of a feel pitch.”
Melancon, however, is excited about the team and his role.
“Are you kidding me, yeah,” he said whether the Red Sox had enough to make it to the World Series. “One hundred percent.”
Melancon hopes he’s done a 180 degree turn from the 106-loss Astros to the Red Sox.
“Well, you know, two totally different worlds. It wasn’t easy (106 losses). It was really tough. A lot of young guys on the team so it was tough,” Melancon said.
Melancon was the Astros closer, so it wasn’t always easy getting into save situations.
“I thought (Astros manager) Brad Mills did a good job getting us all in at times, keeping us fresh. I definitely got my work in. It wasn’t always a save situation but I got my work in,” he said.
Melancon said he does aspire to be a closer but he feels he needs to be the best set-up man he can.
“I think the eighth inning is easily as important as the ninth. It’s funny how people always ask me about that. If you lose in the eighth, you’re probably not getting into the ninth. Being a closer has always been a goal. Obviously (Andrew) Bailey has done well and deserves that. I’m here to win, what ever that takes,” he said.
As for his new pitching coach, Bob McClure, Melancon said, “I think Mac has a great approach. He’s helped me out already with the changeup and grip and so forth. He’s easy to talk to, open minded, he obviously wants us to do well. He cares about guys A-Z and not who’s making the most money.”