Red Sox - 000 001 002 - 3 9 0 Blue Jays - 102 003 10x - 7 11 0Bard pitched better than his line (5-8-5-1-6, 96); it was a solid, promising start. Only one or two of Toronto's eight hits were well-hit (two were infield singles) and Justin Thomas - Bobby Valentine's first (and terrible) choice out of the bullpen with the Blue Jays up only 3-1 - allowed two inherited runners to score. He also allowed one of his own runners to cross, and the Blue Jays blew the game open 6-1.
After the game, Valentine admitted that leaving Thomas in to face more than one batter was "a dumb move". After Thomas walked Eric Thames, J.P. Arencibia cracked a two-run single. Colby Rasmus followed with a sac fly.
Just a dumb move. ... I don't like being dumb. I like doing what I'm supposed to do. I should have brought in Albers with the bases loaded, it might have been still a 3-1 game. We get a great ground ball there and maybe we would have won that game.Bard threw 49 fastballs, 35 sliders, and 12 changeups (according to Brooks). His fastball started out between 95-97 in the early innings, but dipped to 92-94 as he tired in the sixth inning. He avoided his changeup in the first four innings, with 10 of the 12 coming in his last two innings. His pitch count by innings: 20-9-28 9-18-12.
The Red Sox made some noise in the ninth. With two outs, Nick Punto singled, Jacoby Ellsbury walked, Pedoria (3-for-5) singled, and Gonzalez (3 RBI) doubled in two runs. It cut the lead to 7-3 and put the potential tying run on deck. But David Ortiz was called out on strikes to end the game.
Daniel Bard / Kyle Drabeck
Daniel Bard will make the much-anticipated first start of his career.
We made a decision this winter collectively to give him a chance to get stretched out in spring training and show us what he can do. We feel like he showed enough in spring training, enough development, to carry that into the season. If he can do that and do it well, and we believe he can, then there's a great long-term benefit to the organization. ... It's way too early in the season to talk about changing roles or reacting off a three-game series.If there is no one in the current bullpen that can hold a two- or three-run lead in the late innings, then it won't matter what Bard's role is. This team is doomed. Fortunately, that is not the case.
Ultimately, of course if things are not working deeper as we get deeper into the season, we'll consider changes, whether that involves a pitcher inside the organization, outside the organization, different roles, etc., but for right now, Daniel's going to start tomorrow. We'll see how this goes, and again, we feel like there's enough talent down there to get the job done.