Red Sox pitchers struggle in loss to Rays, Branch returns to New England

After winning the first two games of the series against the Rays, the Red Sox couldn’t win a third in a row as they were beat up by the Rays 13-3 Wednesday night in Tampa. Pitching was a huge issue as six pitchers combined to allow 13 hits and 10 walks. Starter Daisuke Matsuzaka gave up five runs on nine hits over three plus innings, including two home runs in the fourth. Alfredo Aceves and Daniel Bard followed, but were not much better. Aceves, who hadn’t pitched in six games, gave up four runs in two innings of work. Bard allowed three runs in just 1/3 of an inning. He walked three batters and threw just four strikes in 16 pitches. There really are no words for his season.

You really have to wonder just how different the Red Sox pitching staff will be next season. There is no way Matsuzaka is re-signed, and it is very hard to imagine the team will bring back Aceves after all that he has done the past few months. One of the big things to look for next spring training is how Bard bounces back from an abysmal season. He will certainly be pitching out of the bullpen, so fans and the organization can hope he is back to his normal 2011 self.

Daniel Bard blows up again- Scott Lauber in his notebook has Bard having yet another horrible outing.

Red Sox must decide on manager quickly- Nick Cafardo says the Red Sox need to decide on their 2013 manager almost as soon as the 2012 season ends. He mentions Tim Bogar and even Jason Varitek.

John Lackey could be answer- John Tomase writes John Lackey could play a major role for the Red Sox in 2013 coming off of Tommy John surgery.

Bobby Valentine with the Big Show- (audio) Bobby Valentine hung up after being questioned once again about being late for a game in Oakland. Luckily for Valentine, who is contractually obligated to appear on the station once a week, only has two more appearances left.

Deion Branch rejoined the Patriots Wednesday, but it was like he never even left as his locker was still kept in tact, which is something you very rarely see and him returning was one of the least surprising things the Patriots have done of late. Kellen Winslow also joined the team, but it is very hard to see a scenario where both players play major roles in Sunday’s game at the Ravens. Winslow will only have a few days to get acclimated to the new offense, and Branch comes in as the No. 4 receiver for a team that hasn’t ran a 4 WR set all season. Both players should be active, see limited action, but really shouldn’t be major factors.

Welker situation unfathomable- Christopher Gasper is very confused with the whole Wes Welker situation.

Josh McDaniels under fire- Karen Guregian looks at Josh McDaniels and his play calling Sunday, calling it “un-Patrot-like”.

McDaniels, Patriots need time to get in groove- Tom E. Curran says to be patient with McDaniels and the offense.

Patriots trying to keep options open- Mike Reiss looks at how the Patriots might run their offense without Aaron Hernandez.

  • bsmfan

    Since the refs are now a national issue, the one, lone reporter who surprised many by defending the replacement refs, even after W1, Jason Cole @ Yahoo!, has finally changed his tune:

    QUOTE from an owner:
    “”I’m not comfortable with what I saw last night,” the owner said after watching the Atlanta Falcons’ 27-21 victory
    over the Denver Broncos. “It wasn’t professional. It wasn’t our
    standards of what a game is supposed to look like … it’s not the calls
    themselves and it’s not player safety. That’s a silly argument.


    “I know that we feel good about the offer we’ve made to the officials,
    but we can’t have another week like this if we don’t settle soon,” the
    owner said. “The amount of money we’re talking about is not worth the
    embarrassment. This is our product.”

    ENDQUOTE

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/nfl–nfl-owner-admits-that-confidence-is-eroding-in-replacements-officials.html

    (At least someone cares about their product.)

    Jerry Markbreit, a former ref (will be on WEEI later today), also gave a great interview to ESPNNY:

    http://deadspin.com/5944716/the-nfl-fired-nine-former-officials-when-they-refused-to-train-replacement-refs

    Thankfully, the media is finally pounding this issue, with ESPN happily leading the way.

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