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Melancon trying to work on secondary pitches

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff  March 20, 2012 02:31 PM

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FORT MYERS, Fla. - Pitcher Mark Melancon hit that proverbial "bump in the road" Monday vs. the Twins, but he believes 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 [Monday] and then I hit a bump in the road," Melancon said. "I was working on different stuff - most the change-up. 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. It was really tough. A lot of young guys on the team, so it was tough," Melancon said.

Melancon was the Astros's 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.

Melnacon 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, whatever 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 change-up 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."

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