If Bobby Valentine had not already cost the Red Sox games--and I'd wager he has--it's hard to argue that he was to blame for today.
Well, him and home plate umpire Larry Vanover, who just called three balls strikes as Fernando Rodney placed not a single pitch in the zone and got a 2-3 count out of it. Good on ya, Larry.
But back to the things this team can control. Daniel Bard had been wild with the fastball, great with the slider through the first six innings. He came back out for the seventh with a decent pitch count, got two outs out of it, and then completely lost control, falling behind three straight batters and giving up a walk, a single, and then another free pass--the last on just four pitches.
It was obvious Bard needed to be pulled. It was obvious he should have been pulled after the first walk. It was obviously he should have been pulled after the hit. After the second walk? At that point whoever's standing next to Bobby V needs to nudge him and make sure he hasn't fallen asleep.
But instead he lets Bard stay in to give up another 4-pitch walk to Evan Longoria, costing the Sox the only run of the game. Oh, and he had all of Justin Thomas and Matt Albers warming up behind him with the game on the line.
At this point, the terrible decisions are becoming more than just a trend. It's getting to be a rule. I don't think Bobby Valentine is as mentally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason.
Bobby Valentine gave the game away, the umpire stole our last chance to take it back, and we should all be mad as hell about it.