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Daniel Bard on recent struggles: “It’s something I’ve fixed before and I’ll fix it again”

Sep 15, 2011, 12:48 PM EDT

Boston Red Sox Daniel Bard pitches against Tampa Bay Rays during American League MLB baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston

Plenty of pitchers go through stretches of struggling to throw strikes, but Daniel Bard’s recent wildness is particularly worrisome because his career was nearly derailed by extreme control problems in the minors.

Bard walked 78 batters in 78 innings as a starter at Single-A in 2007, but moved to the bullpen the next season and has been a dominant reliever ever since.

However, after being unhittable for most of this year Bard has coughed up nine runs in his last three appearances while walking five of 17 batters.

For a guy who came into September with a 2.03 ERA and 63/15 K/BB ratio in 62 innings that’s not what the Red Sox want to see at this point in the season, but Bard told Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal that he’s confident about getting back on track:

The timing with my delivery is just not there. I can feel it on every pitch. Something feels a little bit different. I’ve been through it before. The effects of it are kind of magnified by how big these games are. Sometimes you go out there and your mechanics are kind of off and you get through an inning when they swing at a few pitches out the zone and it gets you back in it. Unfortunately for me, they haven’t been doing that lately. It’s something I’ve fixed before, and I’ll fix it again. I’ll do what it takes the next couple of days to put in the work and find my delivery again.

Hopefully he’s right, although as Bard noted there’s a big difference between fixing mechanical and control problems at Single-A and doing the same in the majors, in September, with every appearance coming in a crucial spot.

  1. dailyrev - Sep 15, 2011 at 1:13 PM

    This makes Robertson’s under-the-radar performance in NY all the more remarkable. This kid, making dirtbag money for this game/that team ($400K, I think) has turned himself into the best setup man in all of beisbol. Before they lost in extras last night in Seattle, they tossed him into yet another boiling pot: 1st and 3rd in the 8th and one out. He got out of it and reduced his ERA to something like 1.15.

    • poprox13 - Sep 15, 2011 at 2:12 PM

      Yeah but he’s still a Yankee……

  2. proudlycanadian - Sep 15, 2011 at 2:26 PM

    The pitching coach who had the biggest positive impact on Bard is now the manager of the Jays. He is obviously not available to help Bard out.

    • JBerardi - Sep 15, 2011 at 4:28 PM

      Mike Cather, the coach who fixed with Bard after his Neighborgallian ’08 season, still works for the Red Sox. Bard didn’t really develop at the major league level, he was dominant right out of the gate.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Cather

  3. pisano - Sep 16, 2011 at 12:20 AM

    Bard says he’ll fix it, the only thing he fixed is Papelbum resigning for a big contract with the Red Sox.

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