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.
More on the Sox tomorrow. Tonight we’ve got the finals.
First Daisuke freaking Matsuzaka comes within 5 outs of a No-Hitter against the “NL team with an AL lineup,” then Timmmmmmmay Wakefield, recently restored from the bullpen, dazzles that same lineup for eight innings, and then Lost ends. This was one clusterfuck of a weekend.
First of all, as much as SMC and the others I was with want to blame it on me, I have confirmed that more than one person who was watching the Red Sox game on Saturday night uttered the words “No-Hitter” before Juan Castro’s hit dropped with two outs in the eighth. So it wasn’t just me and that makes me feel slightly better. Otherwise the most important thing to take from the game is that we really have no effing clue how good or bad Daisuke Matsuzaka can be this season or beyond. He has been a shutdown ace twice this season and otherwise been a tremendous failure. The way that the defense, other than Scutaro, came together behind the Wiggler was also encouraging.
Of course, the Celtics game was also entertaining, as they went up 3-0 in an absolute destruction of everything that the Magic hold dear. I am both excited that Stan Van Gundy is going to be able to go back to his thriving Porn career, crying, and terrified that the Celtics are going to joint the Bruins as teams that have pulled a Yankee (and if you think I’m not happy to be able to use the term “pulling a Yankee” as something negative, you have not been reading very carefully). It was incredible and Rondo’s play on the floor has to go down as one of the ultimate hustle plays in postseason history. The Lakers should legit fear KG because they are holding his trophy.
The best part of the weekend, other than the Lost finale, which I loved and understood completely (this is where I imply that those who didn’t get it or are angry about it are either not smart or were just looking for things to complain about), was Tim Wakefield basically throwing a big middle finger at Theo, Tito and company for his move to the bullpen while his teammates made Roy Halladay (still can win 30 games in the NL) look like Charlie Zink. That makes four out of five games with the Sox starter going eight, which is what we expected to see all the time when the season started.
The Sox are three games above .500 for the first time all season, their hitters are hot (I think Youk might never get out again) and most of the pitching staff looks unhittable. Not a bat time to go visit the 32-12 (on pace to win 118 games) Trampa Bay Rays, who could stand to be taken down a notch. 7:10.
The turning point in tonight’s C’s game loss was the 6th foul on Perkins in the low 7:30’s (4th Q). It was just about the most pathetic foul call I’ve ever seen a ref make, in the playoffs no less. An 11 point lead has been cut to 2 with 6:35 to go (I’m writing as I’m watching, I just already know what’s going to happen) and the entire series momentum has shifted on a shitbag foul on an off ball screen in which a slight bit of contact was made. This is the play offs ref. Everybody sucks. Sox lose 5 to 1.
Just a day after the Bruin’s Marc Savard returns to action after missing over a month with a grade 2 concussion, he lifts the B’s past the Flyers of Philadelphia in a 5-4 overtime Playoff Win that nearly brought the TD BankNorth Garden to the ground. The NHL Has even already fashioned a truly Junior-Varsity Playoff Commercial out of it on YouTube:
Unfortunately, about 65 minutes earlier… this happened:
What looked like a very sissy phantom hip-check by Marco Sturm was actually all of the important ligaments in his legs tearing apart from one another, and the bone, and the pain, and he’s out for months…
Almost every Boston Sports team is playing tonight, Playoff Basketball, Playoff Hockey and regular season baseball (the Orioles have 7 wins this season, and 4 of them came from the suckbag Red Sox). Since clearly, the Red Sox need the most help, I will be hoping the weather holds so that I can cheer them on this evening in person, perhaps they just need some new energy.
The aging Celtics, whose locker room looks like an assisted living center, take the floor against LeBron Marino James and the Cleveland Favaliers. And really… just whack him on the elbow and take James out for the Series… Maybe Shawn Thortnon is available for a little cross-athletic promotion…
That’s all I can muster for now… it’s grey out, it’s too hot to sleep… but at least Aaron Hernandez hasn’t called my cellphone yet… so I’m pretty sure he’s been staying out of trouble.