BOSTON – Nick Swisher’s grand slam could not have been more ignored.

When Swisher swatted his slam in the seventh inning, any baseball fan near a television was watching Chicago White Sox right-hander Phil Humber finish his perfect game.

Anyway, Boston still led the Yankees 9-5 after the slam.

What was the big deal?

Surely, the Red Sox had enough pitching to hold on for a victory after leading 9-0.

Apparently not. And, assuming you are on your way to church this morning, the Red Sox and their beleaguered bullpen hope you are in a forgiving mood.

Final score: Yankees 15, Red Sox 9.

“It happened quickly and it’s hard to believe,” Boston Manager Bobby Valentine said.

The clubhouse, not surprisingly, was somber.

“Definitely not fun. Hard to be a part of,” Red Sox shortstop Mike Aviles said.

David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia, normally two go-to players for the media, declined comment.

In the seventh and eighth innings combined, New York sent up 23 batters. Fourteen of them scored.

“Things kind of spiraled,” reliever Matt Albers said.

The results sounded like a T-ball game. If only. Then, everyone would get a trophy and a juice box afterward.

This was going to be a feel-good story for former Sea Dogs pitcher Felix Doubront, who allowed four hits and one run over six innings.

“Felix was terrific,” Valentine said.

But then the bullpen gate opened.

Doubront’s teammates allowed 12 hits and 14 runs over two innings.

I know those boxscores have such small print, so here’s a rundown:

Vicente Padilla faced six batters: five runs, one out.

Albers: two batters, two runs (one earned), no outs.

Franklin Morales: four batters, one run, two outs.

Alfredo Aceves: six batters, five runs, no outs.

Justin Thomas: three batters, one run, two outs.

After the Yankees batted in the sixth, there was a buzz in the ballpark, a victory practically assured.

After the Yankees batted in the eighth, the fans were all booed out. All they could manage was a rendition of “Sweet Caroline.”

Yes, they still play that song, no matter the circumstances.

How about that Boston bullpen?

So good, so good.

And how is Doubront supposed to feel? He pitched one of his best professional games, but still has a zero in the win column.

“Those things happen,” Doubront said. “For me, it was great, but I don’t feel that good.”

Doubront was at 99 pitches when Valentine took him out.

“I was a little bit (surprised),” Doubront said. “I was ready to keep throwing but it’s (Valentine’s) decision.”

Valentine said Doubront’s velocity was down and he was nearly at 100 pitches, with a 9-1 lead.

“Seemed like a no-brainer,” Valentine said. “Had a rested bullpen. All that good stuff.”

As for Doubront, he has a 3.94 ERA, currently best among the starters.

Jon Lester (5.82), Josh Beckett (5.03) and Clay Buchholz (9.00) have all made three starts. Daniel Bard (4.63) makes his third start tonight.

So far, Doubront is the bargain with a $484,000 salary, considering what Boston pays for starting pitching — $28 million for the other four guys, plus $25 million for Daisuke Matsuzaka and John Lackey.

The starters have been disappointing. The bullpen has been worse. How can Valentine now trust his relievers?

“They’re my guys,” he answered.

Asked if there might be changes in the pen, Valentine offered a “maybe.”

Asked if the Red Sox might consider putting Bard back in relief, Valentine said, “you got to consider everything.”

After meeting the press, Valentine retreated to his office. There, owner John Henry and General Manager Ben Cherington were waiting. The door was closed.

Maybe Valentine mentioned what he said he told his players after the game.

“I told them I think we’ve hit bottom,” Valentine said. “If this isn’t the bottom, we’ll find some new ends of the earth, I guess.” 

Staff writer Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or at:

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Twitter: ClearTheBases