I’ve been saying it since the wackos (that’s a technical term) started popping up in Spring Training. Daniel Bard is not ready to be a big time closer. He proved it last night. With Paps around, he comes in, whips it out and the Indians go away quietly. Last night, just like on Tuesday, there was a sinking feeling in my stomach, knowing that Bard gives up too many longballs (if you throw 100 mph, when someone connects it can go really far) and may not have the makeup to stay blank in these pressure situations.
And there it was, after Adrian hit a huge clutch homer in the ninth (after the Sox sent some old guy up to hit as a charity) Bard came in and promptly loaded the bases. He almost got out of it, but there was a soft liner, just past the dive of Pedey, that killed him. Sure, it’s only one game, and he may bounce back, but at this point I’m just not comfortable with giving him the ball to close things out. Papelbon can’t get back soon enough.
Meanwhile, this game shouldn’t have been this close. the Sox were spoon fed five walks and four errors, and they still couldn’t make something happen against a pitching staff that was put together worse than my last attempt at sculpture. One clutch hit here or there, and the game is blown wide open and we don’t have to worry about Bard. That, after the shutout last night, paired with losses two nights in a row while Buchholz and Lester, has me worried as we go into the clusterf#$k known as interleague play. Could this be another April Esque 4-9 swoon? I doubt it, but I hate interleague, and with all of those pitching changes, double switches and having to play Ortiz at first (if at all, with the way Youk and Beltre have been hitting lately, and the way Ortiz has), and it’s a crapshoot.
Then again, the Celtics won last night behind Big Baby and Little Nate, and the World Cup kicks off in about three minutes, so this is looking to be a pretty damn good weekend.
Go Amurrrrrrrica, Go Sox.