Joe Kelly went just 4 2/3 innings allowing five runs taking the loss Sunday against the Yankees. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

John Farrell: 'We need to pitch more innings as a starting group, that's obvious'

Ryan Hannable
May 03, 2015 - 9:35 pm
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Joe Kelly entered Sunday's start against the Yankees with tremendous numbers against them -- 3-0 in three career starts with a 3.43 ERA, including allowing one run over seven innings in his first start of the season in New York April 11. The right-hander wasn't good Sunday, allowing five runs in 4 2/3 innings, taking his first loss of the season, as the Yankees swept the Red Sox with a 8-5 win. The poor performance was on par with the rest of the rotation through the first five turns of the season. Six times (24 percent) the Red Sox' starter has failed to pitch five complete innings. It isn't just one starter either, as four of the five starters have done that twice. Rick Porcello is the only one who has gone at least five innings in all his starts. "I'm aware of how many innings our starters have given us," manager John Farrell said. "We come off of a stretch of three games where it felt like we were starting to settle in a little bit. Tonight wasn't the case. We need to pitch more innings as a starting group, that's obvious." The Yankees jumped on Kelly early, scoring five runs in the first three innings. An issue for Kelly was the inability to establish all of his pitches, especially his slider and curveball. According to Brooksbaseball.net, he threw 15 curveballs in the game and only seven sliders. This comes following his last start where he threw 27 sliders. Getting swing-and-miss was also an issue for Kelly. He only recorded four total swing and misses in the game. Prior to Sunday his lowest in any game was eight, April 22 against Tampa. His high was 12 against the Yankees in his first start of the year. "I had a feel for it. Just something that we didn'€™t go to," Kelly said of his curve. "Like I said, by the time we started going to it it was probably a little bit too late. Obviously, we had given up all the runs. It was something I'€™m going to try to work on and try to get that offside going, even if it'€™s the first inning. I'€™ve got to show these guys all my pitches. It'€™s something I'€™ve got to do." With the Red Sox' offense the pitching staff doesn't need to throw shutouts every night. The offense is averaging 4.88 runs per game, so just getting average starts every game would make a huge difference. Eight times through the first 25 games has a starter allowed five or more runs. "I'€™ve said it before, our lineup is stacked. We have really good hitters on our side," said Kelly. "From the get go, I put us in a bind, in a hole. I didn'€™t pitch good at all and never really gave this team a chance to win. That'€™s something that irritates me and something that I'€™m going to go out there and work on." The team will continue a 22-game stretch against AL East opponents this week against the Rays and Blue Jays. Currently they are just 6-10, and Kelly knows that needs to change, and the change begins with the rotation. "It'€™s been a month and, like you said, we'€™re under .500. One game under .500. But there'€™s nobody giving up in this clubhouse," Kelly said. "We have a good team and we'€™re all looking forward to coming here tomorrow and playing a big series against the Rays."