Monday, April 16, 2012
Bobby Valentine Will Take Out Daniel Bard When He Damn Well Pleases
The Rays (5-5, 2-5 away) avoided the sweep with a tight 1-0 win against the Red Sox (4-6, 3-1 home) on Patriot's Day.
It was the first game since May 1, 2009 (Dodgers-Padres) when the lone run was scored on a bases-loaded walk (thanks ESPN Stats and Info). Daniel Bard (0-2) was clearly on the ropes, over 100 pitches and having walked two guys sandwiched around a single to load the bases in the seventh. For some stupid reason, Bobby Valentine thought that his converted reliever should face another batter and as it turned out, that's why they lost. Bard walked Evan Longoria, scoring Sean Rodriguez with the winning run.
Bard's final line was 6.2 innings, allowing one run (earned) on four hits with seven strikeouts and seven walks. Justin Thomas deserves props for getting Luke Scott to fly out to end the seventh with the bases loaded. He also threw a scoreless eighth.
James Shields (2-0) continued to show why he's one of MLB's best pitchers, even though he gets zero hype or attention (probably a product of playing in Tampa Bay). He went 8.1 innings, allowing four hits with five strikeouts and two walks.
Desmond Jennings led the Rays with two hits (double), a stolen base and a walk.
Mr. Tilted Brim aka Fernando Rodney recorded his fourth save of the season by getting the last two outs. He survived a walk and he was able to strike out Cody Ross (2 hits) to end it. It would have been nice to see Ross swing the bat in that situation but all three called strikes in his at bat weren't even borderline, they were balls. I don't blame him at all for freaking out at umpire Larry Vanover after it was over.
The schedule doesn't ease up at all this week for the Red Sox as the Rangers and Yankees both come to Fenway. The two-time defending AL Champions from Texas are here for two, starting tomorrow night with Colby Lewis taking on Jon Lester. Can Boston please score a few more runs for Lester and get him a win? Is that too much to ask?