"Just attitude and mentality, and pitching with a little more emotion," said Melancon. "Kind of just, I've never been a person to be angry or anything, but to pitch with kind of some ... I don't know what to call it, but a little more fiery."
In his last seven outings entering Saturday, Melancon has a 1.08 ERA, striking out 12 over 8 1/3 innings. Prior to that, his season had been an utter disappointment, as evidenced by the 7.71 ERA he produced in his first 33 games.
"I wish I could pinpoint exactly one thing. I think it was a mix of a bunch of different things," said Melancon. "Obviously my location wasn't very good. I've certainly had times where I've gotten away with those pitches and didn't feel like I got away with anything. That happens when you're not always locating. Maybe I was trying to prove something a little too early. I don't feel like I was, [but] maybe I was."
Heading into the season, the Red Sox felt Melancon could be the primary setup man. The way he's finished, that could be a realistic projection for 2013.
"It's always nice to finish strong," Melancon said. "The great part of me finishing strong now is I think it's going to propel into the offseason and work even extra hard to continue that success as opposed to putting it off and counting on it to come back.
"I think I'm going to use that to continue to go forward, and as bad as this season has been, I feel like this month has been kind of an uplifting month. I'm still excited about playing. I definitely don't want it to end right now. Normally with a season like this, you do want it to end. But my fire is burning high right now. It's going to be sad to end the season right now."