June 3, 2012

G54: Blue Jays 5, Red Sox 1

Red Sox   - 000 010 000 - 1  6  1
Blue Jays - 320 000 00x - 5  6  0
From the Department of "It Sure Sounds Dominant": Bard threw 55 pitches - and the Jays put only three of them into play!

Unfortunately, the reason for the lack of contact was Bard's extreme wildness. In his worst outing of his career, Bard faced only 13 batters; he walked six of them, and hit two others. He did not finish the second inning: 1.2-1-5-6-2, 55. (He is the first pitcher (since 1918, that is) to pitch fewer than two innings and have 6+ BB and 2+ HBP.)

Bard walked the first two Jays in the first, then watched as Jose Bautista slugged his 14th home run of the year. He then walked Edward Encarnacion on four pitches. A visit to the mound must have cleared his head, because Bard quickly got a double play and a fly out.

In the second, Bard (again) walked the first two batters, but then got two strikeouts. Then he hit Yunel Escobar to load the bases, walked Bautista to force in a run, and hit Encarnacion to give the Jays a 5-0 lead. And that was the end of his afternoon.

Franklin Morales (a career-high 4.1 innings) did a superb job of keeping the Blue Jays quiet - he was helped out in the fifth when Daniel Nava gunned down Brett Lawrie trying to stretch a double into a triple - but Hutchison (7-5-1-1-5, 109) was too much for the Red Sox bats. (He also hit two batters - Kelly Shoppach in the third and Kevin Youkilis in the sixth - but I was unable to watch the game, so I don't know what the degree of retaliation was.)

When the Red Sox got anything resembling a rally going, there was usually already two outs on the board. Shoppach hit an opposite field solo home run with two down in the fifth. The Red Sox put the next two men on, but Adrian Gonzalez popped out. They had two on with two outs in the sixth, but Mike Aviles flied to left.

The Red Sox are off tomorrow before beginning a three-game series at home against the Orioles on Tuesday.
Daniel Bard / Drew Hutchison
Podsednik, CF
Nava, LF
Gonzalez, 1B
Ortiz, DH
Youkilis, 3B
Sweeney, RF
Aviles, SS
Punto, 2B
Shoppach, C
Bard says he made some slight adjustments to his motion since his last start.
[I'm] just staying in my delivery better. I made a couple of tweaks, nothing major, but just a couple of things to keep everything on time, to keep my arm in the same slot. I made those tweaks in my side session three days ago and felt really good about it coming out of that.
Perhaps those adjustments can cut down on Bard's atrocious walk rate (5.2 BB/9). Bard has had more walks than strikeouts in five of his last six starts.


Steve said...

Those adjustments really helped his walk rate today.

allan said...

Since 1918, no pitcher has gone less than 2 innings and walked 6+ and hit 2+. Until today! Congrats, Bard!!!

(The most walks by a pitcher throwing less than 2 innings is 9 - Les Webber for Brooklyn on May 26, 1943.)