Sunday April 24, 2011 | 09:32 AM

While Red Sox Nation celebrates another Daisuke Matsuzaka gem (8 IP, 1 H), I had one question.

Why was Daniel Bard needed to finish off a game with a 5-0 lead?

Bard had one day's rest after two stellar outings the previous two days. Would it not be beneficial to rest him another day with such a big lead?

Three relievers had not pitched since last Tuesday. But Terry Francona obviously cannot trust a 5-run advantage to Tim Wakefield (6.10 ERA), Dan Wheeler (11.37 ERA) or Hideki Okajima (2/3 IP, 3 R).

Bard is going to be a huge part of the Sox all year. Hate to see him used for a garbage-time inning.

Catcher Jason Varitek is given some of the credit of Matsuzaka's turn-around over the past two starts. And Varitek got his second hit of the season on Saturday, although he is still batting .074.

Meanwhile, Boston's catching future could be in Portland this season. See Today's Column.

One last pitching note: Mark Rogers of Orrs Island, Maine, is having control issues. He is listed in this week's Mainers in the Minors, but the statistics don't reflect his outing on Saturday (2 IP, 3 H, 7 R, 5 BB, 3 K). he now has issued 17 walks in 13 1/3 innings.

Happy Easter.


About this Blog

Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

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