While Bard looked strong through his first inning of work, retiring the Jays in order on just eight pitches, the reliever-turned-starter seemed to lose it in the second, allowing two walks and a single to load the bases with zero outs. Predictably, Bard would not escape unharmed, surrendering two runs on a well-hit ground ball double from Travis Snider, and then a third on a sacrifice fly.
Bard would recover as the night went on, however. Settling in after a shaky start to the third, Bard would regain his command, and largely maintain his velocity as he reached 83 pitches on the night. While his final line stands at three runs in five innings on three hits, three walks, and two strikeouts, Bard provided some hope by retiring the final eight batters he faced.
Meanwhile, the Sox received the one burst of offense they would enjoy all night from Kelly Shoppach, who advertised his lefty-mashing services by taking Aaron Laffey deep for a pair of runs (Mike Aviles had shown his own aptitude in that regard with a wall ball double immediately before). From then on, however, the Sox bats would fall quiet.
The same could not be said for the Jays, who scored a run each off of Jesse Carlson and Michael Bowden as they "combined" for an inning (Carlson allowed just the hit, recording no outs in the process), and then two more off Doug Mathis and Matt Albers before the night was over to make it a 9-2 victory.
Perhaps more important, however, is how Mathis found himself in the game. Pitching purely out of the stretch for the first time, Andrew Miller was still facing his first batter of the game when his hamstring tightened up, forcing him from the game. We'll know more later, I'm sure, but for now, the experiment that just won't end is back on hold.
Kelly Shoppach and Mike Aviles did what they are supposed to do against lefties.
Daniel Bard had encouraging signs in his outing if you can get around the second inning and the results as a whole.
Andrew Miller...the whole situation, really.
The lineup aside from Aviles and Shoppach was pretty dismal.
That second inning.
Dustin Pedroia's advice that Don adopt a Hawk Harrelson style home run call. No thanks, Pedey. No thanks.