Bard baffles Blue Jays

A footnote of an otherwise ordinary 6-3 loss by the Red Sox was a display of overpowering heat by Daniel Bard. Boston’s top relief prospect struck out five batters in succession in the sixth and seventh innings.

PR guru Henry Mahegan is searching feverishly to find the last Boston rookie reliever who struck out five in a row. The last Sox rookie pitcher to do so was Casey Fossum. More on this later.

It was interesting to hear Bard speak after the game about his breakthrough performance. It seems that a new grip on his slider was a big catalyst.

“It just got a little loopey, the curvebal, breaking ball, slider, whatever you want to call it.Iit was more of a slider tonight. It just got a little loopey and it wasn’t the putaway pitch that it used to be. John [Farrell] and I talked about it. I just slightly rotated the ball with my hands. A little bit later, a little bit more downward action. I just won’t leave many of them up like I did in previous outings.”

Also, it is clear Bard is suddenly feeling comfortable in his new surroundings. He compared it to his adjustment to Double-A last year.

“I think there’s an adjustment period when you’re moving up at any time. Last year, I went through it at Double-A. I was good, but wasn’t getting guys out as good as it could be. It took me about a month. It’s kind of when you get that feeling, ‘I belong here’. Then you start pitching with more and more confidence. You start worrying about what people are thinking of you and it’s more a focus of getting outs and winning ballgames.”

28 Comments

Well, if JD can keep hitting in the 3 slot, it will do us some good, anyway! Papi doesn’t seem to be getting on track no matter where he’s hitting! :/ Here goes nada! GO SOX!

Greg, responding to your comment on the previous thread to good have a designated backup pitcher in mind, specifically when Wake pitches — is a good idea, I have thought the same…. trouble is, when it goes bad, it happens so quickly, and then when do you do it — in the 2nd or 3rd — maybe the strategy is — any sign of weakness in the 5th inning — you replace him — period — don’t mess with it after 4. Any sign of trouble before 5 (maybe 4) — you take your chances.

Speaking of the 5th inning — its turned into our nemesis — we had a charmed 6th inning for short while, now Wake, Lester, Dice-K — all seem to fall apart in the 5th. Maybe we need this idea for several of our starters — DRP — Designated Relief Pitcher — ready to go at the first sign of trouble in inning 5 :)

A comment about Ortiz — he had such unbelievable high years in 2004 and 2005 — he needs to fight hard the law of averages, not yield that he can tank to the other extreme for an entire year. He was a few yards away from a GS tonite, and a few inches from away from maybe a double. His head and is body language show he is really really bit by this — I hope someone is trying convince him daily this can turn around today – everyday until it actually does.

Well, DGN, the good thing is that we can do the DRP if needed–we have the staff enough for it. If the 5th continues to be a hurdle for Jon Lester (let alone Dice-K!) I think it is a good idea for them also!
Wake has a pretty good track record of going at least 5 before hitting the wall, and USUALLY (not always!) there are signs that he’s hit a wall, and a quick exit will be possible, if not probable. Tonight was one of those nights–Wake was not getting through clean innings with good stuff tonight. When Wake has his good stuff, we can pretty well tell–and he’ll get through AT LEAST 5 innings. On those nights, he often will be good for 7+ innings.

DGN, Papi’s best numbers were actually in 07–he was setting career-bests, and league-leading stats that year:
.332 BA, 1.066 OPS, both career highs. He even STOLE 3 BASES! His HRs were down (but we’ll still take 35 HR, 52 2B, 117 RBI!), but his other numbers were career bests!

One other thing about Wake, DGN, remember not too long ago, when the Sox were in a tailspin, and Wake was the ONLY starter who was having any consistency at all! Ian wrote eloquently about when Wake marched in to Tito’s office and told him (and presumably, everyone else!) “I’m GOING to get the job done”–and he threw a CG that very night! We should not get too down on Wake, because when he is on, HE IS ON–and we can often tell the difference VERY early on! THANKS WAKE! GO SOX!

Bard did a great job tonight and I really hope the Red Sox have someone working with Ortiz daily. Something needs to be done there. Good luck to the Red Sox tomorrow! Don’t know if I’ll be by during the game – we’re having a housefull to celebrate my youngest son’s birthday.

GO RED SOX!!! Let’s get back on track!

Hey to all: Regardless of the outcome, sorry I asnt here.. missed the blog tak , although one of the guys on the next pair of lanes had a RedSox cap on and of course I had to talk!!! and the game was on in the bar so we took turns getting updates. Nice to see JD find his stroke.. to bad we cant find someone at short who is consistent other than Hugo Lugo being consistently BAD!!!! I’ll be here for the game tomorrow… as soon as I find out what time it is!! lol
Night all… oh I didnt fare badly tonight.. I havent bowled on a league since 1987… only maybe bowled 20 games in that time and I still averaged 157.. not too bad for the old broad!!!! See you tomorrow..
GO REDSOX.. LOVE REDSOX NATION..
NIGHT, NATIONERS!!

Don’t bury Wake yet. He’s had a rough go of it lately but when it’s all said and done, he usually ends up with a solid body of work.

I wonder how soon ’till we see some of the youngsters get called up. The way the starting pitching is going, it couldn’t be too long.

Morning everyone!!! Wow am I sore today!! Throwing a 15 lb ball 3 games is hard work if you havent done it in a while!
Oh well Ellen, get over it!!
Penny needs a really good game today. And please for God’s sake (and the sake and sanity of RSN) don’t put Lugo in,.. PUHLEEZE!!!!
See you guys later!!

Well, so much for me getting to go in the pool. We went to breakfast and within 25 minutes after we got home, the skies are as black as night!!! Gotta love South Florida in May and June!!! I’m hoping that Nesn is still carrying the game… Directv is not today…. If nothing else I’ll follow along on radio and gameday… NO LIFE… thats me!!! lol

Does anybody else remain astounded by how quickly and completely the Bosox have built a first-class farm system?
Without the benefit of high draft picks, Theo and Co. have drafted and developed gem after gem without having to depend on free agents or trades.
Pedy is the best example, with rookie of the year and MVP already on his resume.
Dare I say that Pap can already make a case as the best Boston closer ever?
And now the flame-throwing Bard. As if the high heater wasn’t enough, he’s got some impressive-looking off-speed stuff (which he could fling at 89 mph and still mess with hitters’ timing).
Our old friend Cowboy Up Millar flailed in vain at a 96-mph missile up out of the strike zone last night, then stared helplessly at a curve that dropped in for strike three. It’s just not fair — and I love it!
Hats off to Theo, the scouts and all the coaches — especially the ones getting these guys to the Show so quickly.

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO-WOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!
LET’SGOREDSOXLET’SGO!!!CLAPCLAPCLAP!!!
IDOBELIEVEIDOBELIEVEIDOIDOIDOIDOBELIEVE!!!
GO-OOOOOOOOOOOO SOX-XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX!!
FREAKIN FOX NETWORK… THEYVE GOT THE GAME HELD DUE TO THEIR EXCLUSIVITY CLAUSE!!!!!!!!!!!!
OKay now I’m pissed!!!!!!!!!!!!

Way to go ROCCO!!! You definitely made up for that error!! Good Job!!!!

Helloo-ooooooooooo?? Anyone out there??

I am, and here we go with our nemesis 5th inning -

Let’s hope the Sox don’t continue to fall into their old pattern and get a lead then fall back and sit on their laurels while the other team catches up and goes ahead of them. They have to develop a constant offense. How-???that’s the big question. They seem to go into a stage of depression– like all of us– waitng for the shoe to fall. However, we will still continue to support them— GO SOX!!!

Baldelli has a boo-boo, man these ball-players aren’t as rugged as they used to be, except for Pedroia

Last play brings to mind a dumb question — can a runner tag and advance on a fly ball caught in foul territory? — I am having trouble recalling that last time I ever saw that — I would imagine if you could, there would be balls purposely let go with runners on 3rd, for instance, in game winning situations (and I know I have never seen that). What is the rule?

Catching prospects for a ‘Penny’ or a ‘Buchh’
http://bottomlinesox.com/2009/05/catching-prospects-for-a-penny-or-a-buchh.html

From what I heard that was quite a boo-boo… It sounded like he really slammed into the wall……. and Pedey really took one right on his knee bone… that should be pretty later this afternoon… dont you love that yellow-ish/green-ish/purple color combo of a bruise???

Whoo-hooo — we made it thru the 5th without giving up a run!

Hi Bob… where’ve you been lately?? Missed ya!!

Hey, all! I’m finally here! Hey Bob, how are you? Long time no see! (But not like you’ve lacked things to talk about with the Yankees! HMMM!…) Well, we HAD a lead!…
Good to see Rocco got a HR! Maybe he can get on track! (Now if PAPI could get on track!…) Penny seemed to be doing well until now. GO SOX!

Why do all of the games in Toronto start at 7 minutes after the hour???

Hey Ellen, hey DGN. Hey all! Ian’s got a new thread already! See ya there? GO SOX!

I’ve never understood any of the 7:07, 8:38, 6:03 start times! (And they do start those EXACTLY at those times!) Things that make you say HMMM!…
Rance Milliniks is with Orsillo again. I like Rance’s call of the game. GO SOX!
Next thread? See ya there!

Hey, 808sf! How goes it? I hope NO ONE buries Wake yet! He has been one of our most valuable assets on the pitching staff! We would be in BAD SHAPE in the standings without Wake! I’ll say it again–if Wake is ever asked to go to the pen (or long relief), you watch–he’ll do it willingly, and do it well! GO SOX!

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