Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Red Sox & Bard Flop In His First MLB Start
Toronto (3-2) bounced back from a loss last night at Rogers Centre to pick up a 7-3 win over the Red Sox (1-4) this evening. It wasn't even that close either since Boston tacked on two meaningless runs in the ninth when it was 7-1.
Bard (0-1) went 5+ innings, allowing five runs (all earned) on eight hits with a walk and six strikeouts. Most of the suckup Red Sox beat reporters were raving about his pitches on Twitter during the game but it's the regular season, not March. I want results.
Blue Jays starter Kyle Drabek (1-0) was better and he earned the win. He went 5.1 innings, allowing one run (earned) on three hits with four strikeouts and three walks.
The best thing you can say about Bard's outing was that he wasn't hit hard, rather Toronto found a bunch of holes with well-placed hits that lacked much pop.
Edwin Encarnacion's infield single that plated Yunel Escobar (2 runs, 2 hits) gave Toronto a 1-0 lead in the first. The Blue Jays added two more runs in the third on Adam Lind's (2 hits) RBI single and Brett Lawrie's (2 hits) RBI single.
Besides the better pitching, the difference in the game was runners in scoring position: Boston was 2 for 12 while Toronto was 5 for 10 in that position.
Adrian Gonzalez finally got the Red Sox on the board with a sacrifice fly in the sixth that scored Jacoby Ellsbury (2 runs, 2 walks).
The Blue Jays put it away with three more runs in the sixth, on J.P. Arencebia's two-run single and a sacrifice fly by Colby Rasmus. Encarnacion greeted reliever Michael Bowden-who still sucks-with a solo homer in the seventh.
Boston has already proven in this very small sample size (five games) that their lineup never gives up, the opposite of last September. Gonzalez drove in Nick Punto and Ellsbury with an RBI double in the ninth. Dustin Pedroia (3 hits) and Gonzalez were stranded on base as David Ortiz struck out looking to end it.
Don't look now but the Red Sox would do themselves a big favor by taking the series finale tomorrow afternoon. Nevermind that they typically own Ricky Romero (4-6 in 13 career starts, 7.12 ERA, .328 OBA) but they simply cannot return to Boston 1-5 this weekend with Josh Beckett starting the home opener and four games against the Rays. That would be a recipe for disaster.
It's up to Jon Lester to pitch another gem, for a tired bullpen, and for the lineup to help him more than it did on Opening Day against Detroit.