By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
BOSTON -- For the first five months of the seaosn, Daniel Bard was the Red Sox' most effective and dominant Red Sox reliever.
Since the beginning of September, however, Bard has struggled mightily. Inheriting a 4-2 lead, Bard gave up three runs, turning what looked to be a victory into a dispiriting 5-4 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays.
Over his last three outings, all losses, Bard has thrown 2 13 innings and allowed six runs on four hits while walking five.
The Sox had scratched together three runs in the first three innings on two groundouts and a sacrifice fly before Adrian Gonzalez homered to right for his 26th of the season, giving the Sox their two-run cushion.
Franklin Morales pitched out of a jam in the sixth before Alfredo Aceves gave the Sox a scoreless seventh.
John Lackey, who survived a rocky first in which the Jays scored twice, was in line for his 13th win before Bard imploded.
Sean McAdam can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam
Among the reactions to the news that Bobby Valentine was possibly being considered to be the US amassador to Japan in President Donald Trump’s administration was this beauty from Kevin Youkilis.
Valentine famously called out Youkilis early in his stormy tenure as Red Sox manager in 2012. Remember? "I don't think he's as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason," Bobby V said of Youk at the time.
The Red Sox traded Youkilis to the White Sox for two not-future Hall of Famers, outfielder Brent Lillibridge and right-hander Zach Stewart, later that season.
Youkilis, now Tom Brady’s brother-in-law by the way, had a 21-game stint playing in Japan in 2014 before retiring from baseball.
Major league manager. Inventor of the wrap sandwich. Champion ballroom dancer. And…
US ambassador to Japan?
Bobby Valentine is on the short list for that position in President Donald Trump’s administration, according to a WEEI.com report.
The former Red Sox manager (fired after a 69-93 season and last-place finish in 2012), and ex-New York Mets and Texas Rangers, skipper, also managed the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan’s Pacific League for six seasons.
When asked by the New York Daily News if he's being considered for the post, Valentine responded: "I haven't been contacted by anyone on Trump's team."
Would he be interested?
"I don't like to deal in hypotheticals," Valentine told the Daily News.
Valentine, 66, has known the President-elect and Trump's brother Bob since the 1980s, is close to others on Trump’s transition team and has had preliminary discussions about the ambassador position, sources told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford.
Valentine, currently the athletic director of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., is also friendly with current Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who, like Valentine, attended the University of Southern California.