Farrell meets with Reed over pitching change

Red Sox manager tries to pull reliever during Ellsbury at-bat

August 14th, 2017

BOSTON -- Red Sox manager John Farrell had a meeting with following Sunday's 3-2 victory over the Yankees to explain to the reliever why he tried to pull him from the game in mid at-bat against .

With the game tied, Reed opened the bottom of the ninth inning with a walk to and then allowed a sacrifice bunt. Pitching coach Carl Willis came to the mound just before Ellsbury stepped to the plate.

After Reed threw ball one -- a slider in the dirt --- Farrell came out of the dugout and signaled for closer .

However, the umpires reminded Farrell that once there is a mound visit, the pitcher has to complete the at-bat against that batter.

Reed induced Ellsbury into a groundout to second on the next pitch. As Farrell came out again and brought in Kimbrel, Reed looked angry and muttered something to himself.

No matter what the rulebook states, it would have been unique for a pitcher of Reed's caliber to be pulled in the middle of an at-bat. That's why Farrell felt the chat was necessary.

"I didn't want him leaving Yankee Stadium [on Sunday] night without at least sitting down with him and giving him some thoughts that went into that," said Farrell. "The time of the game, the leverage of the spot, and I'm sure that was probably the first time that maybe he experienced that, I just wanted to make sure that we had a chance to sit down and talk about it."

Farrell was asked why he would remove Reed after one pitch to Ellsbury.

"I was looking to get Craig into the game," said Farrell. "Unfortunately, the rule is what it is. I'm well aware of the rule, as I addressed after the game [Sunday] night. I felt like I didn't want to leave that series without having Craig Kimbrel on the mound. You know what, [Reed] gets Ellsbury out, and then you see what takes place after that."

Kimbrel retired the final four batters to get the win.

The fact that Reed struggled mightily Friday at Yankee Stadium, allowing four straight batters to reach base while squandering a 3-0 lead, could have played into Farrell's decision Sunday. Reed also surrendered a homer to in his first appearance with the Red Sox on Aug. 1, the day after he was acquired from the Mets.

"I think he's still gaining comfort coming over here after the trade. The more we can settle him in and he can get acclimated to throw the ball like he's capable of, that will take care of itself," said Farrell. "With any reliever, there's going to be some tentative performance or inconsistencies that will appear. We just happened to run across a couple of them over the past couple of days. But still, we have confidence in him and every guy in that bullpen."

Worth noting

• The Red Sox will host the 16th annual WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund radio telethon from 6 a.m. to midnight ET on Tuesday and Wednesday. Actor Casey Affleck will be a special guest and throw out the first pitch before Tuesday's game against the Cardinals.

"Every year we are inspired by the patients, doctors and care-givers at Dana Farber during the radio-telethon," NESN president and CEO Sean McGrail said. "We hope that again this year Red Sox fans throughout the country will continue their generous support of the Jimmy Fund and help us make a difference in the lives of our family members, friends and neighbors who are battling cancer."

• Befoore Wednesday's game, the Red Sox will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1967 "Impossible Dream" team. It is fitting that the ceremony will be held with St. Louis in town, as that was the team Boston lost to in seven games in a hard-fought World Series. Most of the prominent players from that team will return, including Carl Yastrzemski and Jim Lonborg. Earlier this season, the Cardinals celebrated their '67 squad when the Red Sox were in St. Louis.