Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said after yesterday's 15-9 loss to the New York Yankees that the team had hit rock bottom. Ya think Bobby?
Your team had a 9-0 lead and you took your starter Felix Doubront before the start of the 7th inning with a 9-1 lead. You went to your bullpen which has struggled at times this season and after the 7th, your team was winning by one run. Then your closer Alfredo Aceves throws 30 pitches without recording an out and by the end of the 8th inning, your team was losing 15-9.
If that's not rock bottom then I don't know what is.
Doubront put himself on the map during spring training with his performance against the Yankees in March. He continued that throughout the spring and earned the No. 4 job. Yesterday afternoon, he threw his best start of the young season and deserved a better fate than a no decision.
Now I understand that the Red Sox were up 9-1 but Doubront was only at 99 pitches. Why not put him back out there to start the 7th. He wasn't showing any signs of laboring at all. And at worst case, you could take him out if he started to struggle. After all, you left Daniel Bard out there in his last start at over 100 pitches and everyone in the world could see that he was fatigued.
But we can't put the blame solely on Valentine for yesterday's loss. He's doing the best he can with what he was given. And in the bullpen that's not too much. Right now, other than the recent callup, Junichi Tazawa, there's not one single person down in the bullpen that he can trust.
The Red Sox ownership group along with GM Ben Cherington held a closed door meeting with Valentine after the game. Part of it was to discuss the Marlon Byrd trade but it also was about that they were behind Valentine. Plus they also talked about Bard staying in the rotation.
If the weather doesn't cooperate tonight and Bard gets scratched, the Red Sox will have a decision to make. Do they push Bard to Monday or do they skip his turn? If they do skip his turn, do they let him pitch out of the bullpen once this week? Or do they put Bard back in the bullpen to plug a tiny part of the Fenway Park sized hole there and call up Aaron Cook who has pitched well in Triple-A?
Personally, I think the Red Sox need to put Bard back in the bullpen. Sure the starting pitching hasn't been what was expected. But I'm pretty sure no one thought the bullpen would be as bad it is. Yes, the Andrew Bailey injury has made a huge difference, but if the bullpen continues to put up stink bombs, the Red Sox will just continue to be a mediocre team.
We haven't even gotten to the offense yet, it's been all about the pitching. The Red Sox offense did its job yesterday.
They got Yankees starter Freddy Garcia out of the game after 1.2 innings. They got to a Yankees bullpen which hadn't given up a run in 14 innings. They got the results they needed for the win as they backed up Doubront's solid start.
Unfortunately, the bullpen didn't back them up.
One other thing, sure the Red Sox ownership group and Cherington gave valentine a collective we're behind you. Usually that means, you're on the hot seat and if things don't turn around soon, a change needs to be made.
Personally, I don't think that Valentine getting canned or him resigning makes this team any better. They need a huge shake up.
Will Middlebrooks is tearing up Triple-A right now. Sure it's a small sample size but it's going to be hard to keep him down there with the PawSox if he continues at that pace. Maybe a big trade is really what this team needs to do to shake things up. They could use Kevin Youkilis to get a reliever that might help things out a little.
Just throwing that out there. Don't hate!
We'll be back later with today's lineups, batter/pitcher matchups and links from the day. So for now, let's take at look at the overnight links from the media by clicking on the read more button below if you're on the home page.
To open the links up in a new tab or window, use Control+click
A total disaster for Sox [Boston Globe]
Slow start by AL East keeps Sox in picture [Boston Globe]
Bad times never seemed so bad ... so bad ... so bad ... [Boston Globe]
Chatter balks [Boston Globe]
Bowden dealt to Cubs for OF Byrd [Boston Globe]
Imploding bullpen should be blown up [Boston Globe]
Teixeira, Swisher have a blast [Boston Globe]
Disgusting display [Boston Herald]
A true nation of Red Sox faithful [Boston Herald]
Daniel Bard can now watch, learn [Boston Herald]
Club's hunt lands Marlon Byrd [Boston Herald]
Abyss-mal spot for Sox [Boston Herald]
Blame bullpen, not Bobby V, for loss [Boston Herald]
Vote of confidence for Valentine [Boston Herald]
Split decision so far for Bobby Valentine [Boston Herald]
Red Sox fans not giving Bobby Valentine a fair shake [Boston Herald]
Sox blow 9-0 lead, lose to Yankees, 15-9 [CSN New England]
Cherington: Can't just hope it'll get better [CSN New England]
Valentine: Red Sox have 'hit bottom' [CSN New England]
Sox ownership holds meeting after ugly loss [CSN New England]
Bullpen bumbles away monster lead [CSN New England]
Rapid Reaction: Valentine's Day Massacre [ESPN Boston]
Cherington: Bard to start Sunday night [ESPN Boston]
GM: 'Very satisfied' with Bobby V. [ESPN Boston]
How things turned ugly for Sox [ESPN Boston]
BBTN Minute: Can Sox bounce back tonight? [ESPN Boston]
Crawford not far from seeing outfield time [RedSox.com]
Repko out briefly with separated shoulder [RedSox.com]
Melancon shows progress in Pawtucket [RedSox.com]
Youkilis exits with quad contusion after HBP [RedSox.com]
For Valentine, adjusting proves difficult [RedSox.com]
Red Sox brass 'in this together' with Bobby V. [RedSox.com]
Red Sox won't rush to shake up bullpen [RedSox.com]
Prospect Middlebrooks continues to mash [RedSox.com]
It's still happening: For Red Sox, April 2012 feels like September 2011 never ended [Alex Speier - WEEI.com]
And if you must check out the enemy news, head over to the ESPN New York, New York Daily News, New York Post, New York Times and The Journal News websites. You can also check out our Bloguin brother, NYY Stadium Insider.