The Red Sox were probably confident heading into their morning matchup against the Rays on Monday, facing James Shields who was 1-9 at Fenway Park but the funny thing with baseball is–the past doesn’t matter much.
Shields dominated the Red Sox for 8 1/3 innings allowing just 4H, 0ER, 2BB, 5K before tiring on his 111th pitch in the ninth.
Red Sox starter Daniel Bard was solid through the first 6 IP but his walk rate remains a concern. Through the first 6 innings and 100 pitches Bard allowed 4 walks but gave up 3 more in the seventh after reaching the 100 pitch plateau for a total of 7 walks. The final line on him was 6 2/3 IP, 4H, 1ER, 7BB, 7K.
The outing was encouraging from most aspects but it’s safe to say that Daniel Bard should stay around the 100 pitch limit until his arm strength builds, which will surely happen as the season progresses.
The only offense in the game came on a bases loaded walk to Evan Longoria allowed by Bard in the seventh. The Sox’ offense–which had scored 31 times in the first three games–was shut down completely by James Shields.
The Red Sox look to continue their success against the defending AL Pennant winning Texas Rangers on Tuesday at Fenway Park. The pitching matchup will be Jon Lester (2.40 ERA) vs. Colby Lewis (1.42 ERA)