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04/21/2012 - 10:15pm
Cherington: Bard to start Sunday

If there is a game on Sunday night beyond the Red Sox and Yankees, Daniel Bard will be the starter. Beyond that, however, Red Sox GM Ben Cherington said that the Red Sox have to consider all options to address a pitching staff that has performed woefully this year.

The Sox are currently 4-10 with a 6.68 ERA, and the team's bullpen has been particularly dreadful. With closer Andrew Bailey having been lost on the doorstep to the season, Mark Melancon having pitched his way down to Triple-A and closer Alfredo Aceves struggling to a 24.00 ERA in his role, the Sox decision makers, Cherington said, will sleep on Saturday's 15-9 loss -- in which the bullpen allowed 14 runs -- before any role changes.

"Bard’s starting tomorrow night, so that’s where that is," said Cherington. "I think when the pitching staff is not performing and you’re 4-10, you’ve got to find ways to get better. The reality of it is that when you...

04/21/2012 - 9:37pm
Valentine: Sox will consider Bard to 'pen

The Red Sox bullpen is now burdened with an 8.54 ERA that is the second-worst in the game. Expected closer Andrew Bailey on the disabled list until the second half of the season, expected setup man Mark Melancon is in Triple-A Pawtucket after giving up five homers in two innings spanning four appearances in the majors and current closer Alfredo Aceves holds a 24.00 ERA and a pair of horrific blown saves.

Given that brutal performance, manager Bobby Valentine was asked if his team was considering changes to the structure of its pitching staff, and specifically with the role of Daniel Bard, the pitcher who spent the last three seasons as a key late-innings reliever but who has been moved into the rotation for this year.

"Maybe. Not right here and now. Do everything these days. You take all considerations in," Valentine said of potential changes to the pitching staff.

Specifically on the subject of moving Bard to the bullpen,...

04/21/2012 - 9:24pm
Valentine: 'I think we've hit bottom'

Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine discussed the state of affairs that confronts his team following a devastating 15-9 loss to the Yankees in which the bullpen gave up 14 runs in the final three innings, thus transforming a 9-1 advantage into the continuation of a losing streak that has now reached five.

"I think we’ve hit bottom. That’s what I told them after the game," said Valentine. "You have to sometimes hit bottom and if this isn’t bottom, we’ll find some new ends to the earth I guess, or something."

The defeat occurred in dizzying fashion, to the point where Valentine admitted that it was difficult to make sense of it.

"It all happened pretty quickly and it’s all kind of confusing right now," he said. "It happened quickly and it was hard to believe, yeah. If it’s hard to believe, it’s overwhelming."

On a personal note, Valentine was booed...

04/21/2012 - 8:51pm
Julien: 'Very weak call' cost us the game

Claude Julien thought the game-winning power play goal by Washington Saturday at TD Garden was set up by a very questionable slashing call on winger Benoit Pouliot. The Boston forward lost the puck in the defensive zone and turned around and tried to get the puck back. In the process, he was called for slashing with 2:50 remaining in the third period, with the score tied, 3-3. 

With 37 seconds left on the power play and 1:27 left in regulation, Troy Brouwer beat Tim Thomas for what proved to be the game-winning goal. 

"Unfortunately on the winning-goal it’s a very weak call in my mind and it ended up costing us the winning goal," Julien said. 

Julien called out referees Tim Peel and Steve Kozari for missing an elbow from Jason Chimera to the back of the head of Zdeno Chara at the end of the first and for not blowing the whistle when Joe Corvo fell to the ice after blocking a shot in the second. In both cases, a...

04/21/2012 - 8:19pm
Bergeron, Corvo Game 6 status unknown

The Bruins head into a do-or-die Game 6 in Washington Sunday and they do not know if they will have their top-line center with them and available. 

Patrice Bergeron took an elbow from Alexander Semin and played just three shifts in the third period as the Bruins fell to the Capitals, 4-3. 

"I’m not sure," Bruins coach Claude Julien said of Bergeron's status. "To be honest, I get into a game then I’m told that a guy is a little injured at that point and that’s all I know. I’m not quite sure whether it was that hit or whether it’s a hit that he had earlier that he kind of hit the glass, and that’s where I think it started, in my mind. So, I’m not 100 percent sure on that."

Injury stoppage has infuriated Bruins coach Claude Julien in the series. That continued in Saturday when Joe Corvo went down in the second period after blocking a shot from Marcus Johansson in the right...

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