Red Sox - 300 410 002 - 10 14 1 Blue Jays - 112 000 15x - 11 8 0Daniel Bard, entrusted with an 8-6 lead in the bottom of the eighth, hit Brett Lawrie with a 1-2 pitch, allowed a first-pitch single to Orioles-pitcher-turned-Blue-Jays-outfielder Adam Loewen, and walked J.P. Arencibia (after being ahead 0-2). With the bases loaded, he overpowered Dewayne Wise with three fastballs and then froze Yunel Escobar with a full count slider for the second out - although Bard may have caught a break on his 3-1 pitch, a belated strike call from plate umpire Jeff Kellogg.
Bard got ahead of Eric Thames 0-2, but ended up walking him on eight pitches (cffbbfbb) to force in a run. Then he walked Jose Bautista on five pitches (bfbbb) - forcing in another run to tie the game 8-8. During the walks, Terry Francona had Matt Albers warming up, not Jonathan Papelbon. You know Papelbon, the dude who has not allowed a run since mid-fuckin'-July (18 innings) and has recorded 10 strikeouts in his last five innings? Why not give him a shot at getting four outs?
Once the game was tied, Tito pulled the plug on Bard and brought in Albers. Edwin Encarnacion worked the count full, then smoked a three-run double to right-center, giving him five RBI for the night.
May 13, 2009, when he threw 38. Of the 33 pitches Bard threw in the eighth, the Blue Jays put one of them into play.
Boston rallied in the ninth, as Adrian Gonzalez homered and David Ortiz singled. With two outs and Tiz on second, Marco Scutaro (who drove in two runs in the first inning) singled to center to bring the Sox within one run. Mike Aviles pinch-ran for Scutaro, and was easily thrown out trying to steal second with Josh Reddick at the plate. In fact, Aviles barely reached the base on his slide, and Escobar was waiting for him to arrive.
I didn't have a great jump, for one. Two, that was probably the best pitch to get thrown out on. It wasn't a pitchout, but it was up and out. It just didn't work out well.And after Scutaro's hit, guess who started warming up in the pen? ... Yeah.
Francona's bullpen management in the eighth was atrocious, and defied explanation. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, this was clearly his worst game of the season. Bard was bad, but he's not going to pull himself, signal for a replacement, and walk off the field. It's the manager's job to monitor that sort of thing.
Francona, on Bard:
We just couldn't get the last out. After the last walk, I thought it was just enough pitches [for Bard]. We go to Albers, we give up the big three-run hit, and it ends up being too much. ... I guess it proves [Bard]'s human. We kind of fought to get to there, but once you get to him, you feel pretty good.And then you sit back and let him face seven guys and throw 33 mostly-shitty pitches.
(Also: Wakefield (5-3-5-3-3, 91) must be seriously pissed off. He didn't pitch all that well, but he left with an 8-5 lead. And Jacoby Ellsbury went 4-for-5, with a three-run homer.)
Tim Wakefield / Brandon Morrow
Boston pitchers have limited the Blue Jays to only one run and 10 hits in 20 innings in the series.
Game thread. And Orioles/Yankees at 1 PM.