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Red Sox' Doubront takes loss against Yankees

Boston Herald

March 20. 2013 10:12PM
New York Yankees' Thomas Neal slides past Boston Red Sox catcher David Ross to score during the second inning of their MLB spring training baseball game in Tampa, Florida Wednesday. (REUTERS/Scott Audette)

TAMPA, Fla. - Go ahead and pin the Yankees' four-run second inning Wednesday on Felix Doubront's faulty pitching mechanics.

David Ross is here to say it was more complicated.

Working with Doubront for the first time in a game situation, the Red Sox' backup catcher conceded his game-calling was "out of sync" in the early innings. It didn't take long, though, for Ross and Doubront to get on the same page. Doubront didn't allow a run over the next two innings, and although the Red Sox lost, 4-0, Ross learned valuable lessons about Doubront's mechanics, pitch preference and tendencies on the mound.

"I didn't even know he threw a back-door breaking ball," Ross said. "I didn't know he had that in his repertoire. And then he struck out (Yankees outfielder) Ben Francisco on a front-door sinker. I didn't know he liked to do that. I thought he liked to throw four-seamers in there. I don't think I called a great game, especially in that inning. It got better as we went, obviously - quicker innings. I really think I was a big hindrance in that big inning."

Doubront took his share of the blame, too, noting that he strayed from his mechanics in the second inning. According to Doubront, he exhibited poor posture and was unable to get as much of a downhill plane on his pitches. Once he made the adjustment, he had more success.

And now that Ross is aware of what Doubront's mechanical flaws look like, he will be able to assist in correcting them.

"What I want to learn is the fixes mechanically," Ross said. "I learned today (that) posture is a big deal for him. If I learn that, I can coach in the middle of a pitch or the middle of an at-bat, 'That one ball, you cut your changeup. You're just bending over and getting to the side of it. Keep your posture.' He'll be like, 'OK.' That's the thing I want to learn - to fix the problem in the middle of the battle."

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