Red Sox: Season may already be slipping away - Metro US

Red Sox: Season may already be slipping away

Let us look back on all that took place during the first homestand of the season for the Red Sox.

They won three straight games by a combined score of 31-11, then lost five straight by a combined score of 46-17.

Jacoby Ellsbury suffered a serious shoulder injury.

Stalwart Kevin Youkilis was called out by new manager Bobby Valentine, who was called out by stalwart Dustin Pedroia.

The park turned 100.

Jon Lester matched the shortest start of his career in the same game that saw Mark Melancon give up six runs without recording an out.

David Ortiz hit .531 (17-for-32) with 10 RBI.

The front office made 16 separate player moves, including a trade for former Cubs outfielder Marlon Byrd.

Clay Buchholz gave up five home runs for just the second time in his career.

The bullpen blew turned a 9-0 lead over the Yankees into an embarrassing 15-9 loss.

Valentine said his team had “hit bottom.”

There was a rainout.

And the dish ran away with the spoon.

It’s safe to say that the club never experienced a homestand like this one in its first 100 years, and may not in its next 100. At least it ended on a positive note; the rainout gave the Sox a chance to rest, fly early to Minnesota and take stock of the young season.

However, when they do, every one of them will come to the same conclusion: It’s ugly.

Perhaps some Midwestern hospitality can help. The Sox will play three games in Target Field and then four in Chicago. It marks the end of a season-opening gauntlet through the AL elite. That means nothing if the club cannot figure out a way to get consistent starting pitching and some semblance of relief — the bullpen has given up an unconscionable 42 earned runs in 42 2/3 innings, good for an MLB-worst 8.44 ERA.

Relief may be on its way, at least for a few days. Daniel Bard, the former setup man whose name will be uttered whenever bullpen issues are discussed, was skipped in the rotation due to the rainout. Valentine said Sunday that Bard will be available in relief leading up to his next start, scheduled for Friday in Chicago.

Perhaps having Bard as an option out of the bullpen will be just what the doctor ordered. Perhaps the club uses these next few days to figure out ways to replace him in the rotation and make this a permanent move. Perhaps that shuffle can right the ship. If so, perhaps the road trip will be as intriguing as the homestand.

Nah. That’s impossible.

Bard skipped

Red Sox pitcher Daniel Bard will once again work out of the bullpen, Bobby Valentine said Sunday.

Jon Lester will get the start Monday against Minnesota.

Bard was scheduled to start last night against Yankees, but the game was postponed. The 26-year-old righty is 0-2 this season with a 4.63 ERA.

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