Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Bard Not Bad, But Sox Sucking Continues

Going back to September 1st of last year, the Red Sox are 8-24. That's .250 baseball. So I'm not just "panicking" over a slow start. I'm concerned about what seems to be a continuation of a pattern dating back to last year. The calendar is different, but the games look eerily similar.

On the bright side, Daniel Bard was better than his 5 inning, 5 earned run line score suggests. The first run he allowed came in the 1st, when the Jays had a few well-placed hits and squeezed out a run. The last two runs charged to Bard occurred with Justin Thomas on the mound.

Bard looked promising. There's room for improvement, but he did well. He didn't let a few bad breaks affect him, he mixed up his pitches as the game progressed, he threw strikes (65 strikes, 31 balls, slightly better than the 2:1 ratio you want to see), he didn't walk anyone until the 6th inning, he got better as the game progressed.

His slider was devastating. He worked the changeup in later in the game, and that went well. But the Jays repeatedly made contact on his fastball. Mostly for line drives. He allowed 8 hits. 7 of them were singles.

I'm not yet sold on Bard as a starter. But I am still listening to the sales pitch.

The rest of this team I am definitely not sold on. More bad bullpen work from Thomas and then Michael Bowden. The Sox got plenty of baserunners, but couldn't manage that big hit to break things open. They were 2 for 12 with runners in scoring position. Both those hits came in the 9th with 2 outs and the Sox trailing by 6 runs.

Youkilis finally got 2 hits. If he and Ellsbury can get a little hotter, the offense should find more consistency.

But pitching still worries me. The bullpen is just a mess. And with starters like Doubront and Bard going 5 or 6 innings, that bullpen is even more exposed.

Maybe Lester can turn things around this afternoon. He faces Ricky Romero at 12:37.

Photo Credit:
AP Photo

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