Jonathan Papelbon’s contract is up after this year. And after his disastrous 2009 playoff performance and a subpar year last season, the Red Sox seemed ready to bid adieu to Pap, take the two draft picks and move on.
The reason they could afford to do that? The great Daniel Bard, of course! Bard was a kick butt prospect who seemed all but ready to assume the closer role when Papelbon brought his Irish dig elsewhere for big money and an inevitable breakdown (which makes him a prime candidate for the Mets, Cubs or Orioles.)
Have you seen how awful he has been lately?
He’s lost 3 games already… THIS MONTH! I don’t know what his ERA for September but going into today it was over 17. And after coughing up the game today (which would have given the Red Sox a little breathing room when the Rays show up tomorrow.
Heck, it was a game where Lackey actually settled down and wasn’t HORRIBLE.
And Bard blew it.
So when Papelbon goes into negotiations this November, the opening sentence should be “So… you want Bard closing games?”
And then toss a few million bucks to Bard. Papelbon will get the big deal and he wouldn’t have if Bard was even adequate down the stretch.
Time to update the tally.
April 8 – 9-6 win against the Yankees. (The Sox end their 6 game losing streak with a slugfest. John Lackey stinks but Phil Hughes stinks even more.)
April 10 – 4-0 win against the Yankees. (Beckett and Sabathia duel in a game that was 1-0 until the late innings.)
April 20 – 5-3 win in Oakland. (Red Sox survive a lead off homer and two bases loaded situations and facing the tying run at the plate to win their first road game.)
April 21 – 4-2 win in Anaheim. (The Red Sox stranded 15 men on base and Josh Beckett’s went 8 strong with no decision. But the Sox rallied in the 11th to win.)
April 22 – 4-3 win in Anaheim. (Peter Bourjos makes a 2 run errors and the Red Sox survive a bizarre passed ball by Jarrod Saltalamacchia that let a run scored from second.)
May 1 – 3-2 win against the Mariners. (Ichiro loses a ball in the sun that turns into a 9th inning triple for Lowrie. Crawford singles him home for the win.)
May 8 – 9-5 win against the Twins. (Dice-K lets up 3 runs in the first but settles down as the Red Sox clobber Carl Pavano.)
May 13 – 5-4 win in the Bronx. (Youkilis homers off of Joba and Bard and Papelbon make it more interesting than it needed to be.)
May 15 – 7-5 win in the Bronx. (Sox fall behind 4-1 but come back as Youk, Papi and Salty all homer.)
May 16 – 8-7 win against the Orioles. (Down 6-0 after 6 innings, the Sox rally and win it with a 2 run walk off double by Adrian Gonzalez)
May 18 – 1-0 win against Detroit. (With 2 outs in the 8th, Salty doubles home Crawford from first for the only run. Papelbon gets himself in and out of 9th inning trouble.)
May 19 – 4-3 win against Detroit. (Bard blows Beckett’s lead but Carl Crawford wins it with a walk off hit.)
May 24 – 4-2 win in Cleveland. (Varitek throws two runners out and homers as the Red Sox win their first game against the Indians.)
May 29 – 4-3 win in Detroit. (The Red Sox blow an early 3-0 lead but David Ortiz wins the game with a pinch 9th inning homer.)
June 3 – 8-6 win against Oakland. (Buchholz lets up 4 runs in the first but the Sox come back thanks to Carl Crawford’s 2 run single.)
June 4 – 9-8 win against Oakland. (Red Sox blow a 4 run 9th inning lead and trail in the 11th before Ellsbury ties it and Drew wins it in 14.)
June 7 – 6-4 win in the Bronx. (Papelbon strikes out A-Rod to end the game with a runner on base.)
June 9 – 8-3 win in the Bronx. (Down 2-0 to Sabathia in the 7th, the Sox score 7 runs as Papi exacts revenge after getting plunked. A 3+ hour rain delay pushed the game past 1:30 AM)
June 16 – 4-2 win in Tampa Bay. (Papelbon wiggles out of a 2 on, nobody out jam in the 9th thanks to Youk’s diving catch.)
June 26 – 4-2 win in Pittsburgh. (The Pirates make 4 errors and the Red Sox score 2 in the 7th to avoid a sweep by the Bucs.
June 30 – 5-2 win in Philadelphia.(An injury to Cole Hamels leads to the Red Sox bats waking up.)
July 1 – 7-5 win in Houston. (The Sox score 6 in the 7th inning to come back and win.)
July 3 – 2-1 win in Houston. (The Red Sox score a run in the top of the 9th on a walk to break a tie.)
July 5 – 3-2 win against Toronto. (Lester gets hurt but Darnel McDonald throws out the tying run at the plate to end the game.)
July 6 – 6-4 win against Toronto. (The Sox score 4 in the 4th to take the lead and Wakefield and company hang on for dear life.)
July 10 – 8-6 win against Baltimore. (The Orioles score 6 runs off of rookie Kyle Weiland in the second, but the Red Sox hit three homers in the bottom of the second to tie the game and hold for dear life.)
July 16 – 9-5 win in Tampa. (Lackey puts the Sox in a 3-0 first inning hole, but 3 Sox homers bring them back for the win.)
July 17 – 1-0 win in Tampa. (Beckett throws a masterpiece and the bullpen throws 8 amazing innings. But the Sox bats go dead, leaving 17 men on base before Pedroia drove in a run with 2 outs in the 16th inning.)
July 18 – 15-10 win in Baltimore. (The Sox blow a 6-2 lead but score 8 runs in the 8th to take the game.)
July 22 – 7-4 win against Seattle. (John Lackey beat Felix Hernandez and Mike Carp’s error helped the Red Sox score 5 in the 7th to give them some breathing room.)
July 23 – 3-1 win against Seattle. (Ellsbury gets Beckett off the hook in a tight pitchers duel when he got a 2 out, 2 strike 2 run go ahead single in the 8th.)
July 26 – 13-9 win against the Royals. (The Sox trailed in the 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th before the bats exploded in the 5th.
August 2 – 3-2 win against Cleveland. (Youk tied the game with a 6th inning homer and Salty dove home for the winning run in the 9th.)
August 3 – 4-3 win against Cleveland. (Ellsbury hits a walk off shot in the 9th.)
August 7 – 3-2 win against the Yankees (The Sox rally off of Rivera in the 9th and win on Josh Reddick’s 10th inning single)
August 8 – 8-6 win in Minnesota. (Down 5-1, the Red Sox rally back, then score twice in the 9th to give the Sox the win.)
August 9 – 4-3 win in Minnesota. (Darnell McDonald’s homer ties the game and Ortiz singles home the game winner as Bard worked out of trouble in the 7th.)
August 12 – 6-4 win in Seattle. (Reddick and Ortiz homered to bail out Lackey.)
August 18 – 4-3 win at Kansas City. (Sox hold on despite having three base runners thrown out by the outfielders.)
August 31 – 9-5 win against the Yankees. (Beckett blows a 4-1 lead but homers by Ellsbury and Varitek put the Sox on top.)
September 13 – 18-6 win against Toronto. (Wakefield blows 2 early leads but the Sox bats explode in the 6th to earn Wakes win #200.)
April 1 – 9-5 loss in Texas. (The Sox tie Opening Day in the 8th with an Ortiz homer only to have Bard implode and the Sox let up 4 in the bottom of the 8th.)
April 7 – 1-0 loss in Cleveland. (Sox blow a great Lester performance on a squeeze bunt and Darnell McDonald overrunning the bag to end the game.)
April 12 – 3-2 loss to Tampa Bay. (A solid Lester performance is wasted as Kyle Farnsworth of all people shuts down the Sox.)
April 15 – 7-6 loss to Toronto. (Bobby Jenks implodes with a 4 run seventh inning as the Red Sox waste Pedroia and Youkilis homers and a clutch RBI double by Scuatro.
April 19 – 5-0 loss in Oakland. (Pedroia gets picked off, the Sox bats go dead and waste a solid Lackey start.)
April 26 – 4-1 loss in Baltimore. (Buchholz pitches tentatively and the Sox let Kevin Gregg of all people to close out the 9th.)
April 27 – 5-4 loss in Baltimore. (The Sox tie the game with a 3 run 8th only to have Bard lose it in the bottom of the 8th.)
April 29 – 5-4 loss to Mariners. (Bobby Jenks blows a 7th inning lead, wasting 2 Mike Cameron homers.)
April 30 – 2-0 loss to Mariners. (The Sox strand 11 runners and let Milton Bradley double home the go ahead run.)
May 4 – 5-3 loss to Angels. (7 hours with rain delays and stranded runners. Marco Scutaro was thrown out at the plate in the 12th)
May 10 – 7-6 loss in Toronto. (8th and 9th inning heroics, including a homer by Adrian Gonzalez, are undone by a walk off sacrifice fly by David Cooper.)
May 21 – 9-3 loss to Cubs. (Up 3-1 in the 8th inning, the bullpen and defense implode. The Cubs score 8 runs while both teams wear their 1918 uniforms.)
May 23– 3-2 loss in Cleveland. (The Sox blow a 2-1 8th inning lead when the Indians rally with 2 outs. Crawford ends the game on a double play.)
May 29 – 3-0 loss in Detroit. (Verlander keeps the Sox off base and prevents the sweep.)
June 1 – 7-4 loss to White Sox. (Konerko drives in three, spoiling a game tying Ortiz homer.)
June 18 – 4-2 loss to Milwaukee. (The Brewers hit three homers early off of Lester and hang on.)
June 21 – 5-4 loss to San Diego. (Ortiz hits a double play in the 9th to stifle a potential winning rally.)
June 25 – 6-4 loss to Pittsburgh. (The Red Sox fall out of first as Pedroia’s error leads to a Pirates run.)
June 29 – 2-1 loss in Philadelphia. (Vance Worley duels John Lackey and slumping Raul Ibanez drives in both runs.)
July 4 – 9-7 loss to Toronto. (John Lackey’s miserable start puts the Sox in too big a hole to climb out of.)
July 19 – 6-2 loss in Baltimore. (Scutaro gets thrown out stealing and the Orioles tack on 3 big runs late.)
July 29 – 3-1 loss to the White Sox. (Sox blow a late 1-0 lead and spoil a solid Wakefield start.)
August 5 – 3-2 loss to the Yankees. (The Sox leave the bases loaded in the 5th and the Yankees score 3 in the 6th to take the lead.)
August 10 – 5-2 in Minnesota. (The Twins score 3 in the 8th, spoiling Ortiz’s game tying homer.)
August 13 – 5-4 loss in Seattle. (Mariners score 5 in the first and the Red Sox come back falls short.)
August 14 – 5-3 loss in Seattle. (The Red Sox comeback falls short as Wakefield loses a complete game).
August 30 – 5-2 loss to the Yankees. (Sabathia finally beats the Sox and Cervelli’s homer sparks bean balls.)
September 1 – 4-2 loss to the Yankees. (Russell Martin’s 2 run double in the 7th put the Yankees on top for good. Rivera struck out Gonzalez with the bases loaded to end the game.)
September 7 – 11-10 loss in Toronto. (Bard melts down in the 8th, preventing Tim Wakefield’s 200th win. Aviles is thrown out trying to steal to end the game.)
September 10 – 6-5 loss in Tampa Bay. (Sox get 2 homers in the 9th to tie the game only to lose it in the 11th.)
September 14 – 5-4 loss to Toronto. (Adam Loewen singled home 2 runs in the Blue Jays 3 run 8th inning, making Bard a loser AGAIN!)
Down to +4.
Let’s hope the Orioles can show a little resolve and win.
And let’s also hope that Bard finds his way. It might profit Papelbon later, but we need an 8th inning guy NOW!