(Photo by Winslow Townson/Getty Images)
Tonight was a night of broken pitchers for the Red Sox.
Felix Doubront was good to start the year, but hasn't looked right since the middle months of Summer, when he started to reach and exceed the inning totals he'd thrown in his last two seasons. Since then, it's been a matter of time in every single one of his starts. He might look good for periods, but he will tire, and the Red Sox will pay for it.
Such was the case tonight. One run in the first was just a matter of a chopper getting past first early, and the Jays manufacturing from there. But the third saw a hanging changeup lead to a rocket shot from Edwin Encarnacion, and in the fourth it was a flat fastball costing Doubront two more on a homer of the moonshot variety.
Doubront would leave after the fifth, giving way to an impressive series of performances from middle relievers Clayton Mortensen,
Theo Epstein Chris Carpenter, and Rich Hill. Unfortunately, those, too, ended thanks to a broken pitcher: Daniel Bard.
Bard's story is paradoxically both more clear and more confusing. On the one hand, yes, he's gone wrong ever since the Sox tried to change him to a starter. On the other hand, it makes so very little sense how bad he's become, and how completely unable they've been to bring him back, especially considering how little time he spent in the rotation.
Either way, for his seventh straight major league appearance, dating all the way back to May 18 when he was still starting, Daniel Bard coughed up a homer. And it was a big one. The Sox had climbed back to within two runs at 5-3, and in the bottom of the ninth Mauro Gomez would hit a two-run shot that would have tied the game had Bard not surrendered one of his own to Colby Rasmus on a fly ball that just dropped into the stands in right.
A few more runs then we're used to, but that's Fenway for you. Still not enough to get in the win column.