McGair On Toucher & Rich: Bard’s Velocity ‘A Little Bit Better’
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It’s been almost a months since Daniel Bard was sent down to Pawtucket and the now-reliever is slowly starting to look better. Bard threw back-to-back games Sunday and Monday –the first time he’s done so in the minors — and felt like things have started to click.
Johnston & Flynn (in for Toucher & Rich this week) spoke with Pawtucket Times sports writer Brendan McGair Tuesday morning about Bard’s recent outings.
“I think his velocity is a little bit better from where he was at the beginning of the season as a starting pitcher,” said McGrair. “Last night, the first two pitches were 94 MPH fastballs, and he got up to about 95.”
Bard entered Monday night’s game against Rochester in the seventh inning with the game tied 1-1, and needed just 10 pitches to get three ground ball outs en route to picking up his first win with Pawtucket. This came after two of his worst performances in the minors, combining for 1 1/3 innings with five walks, a wild pitch, a hit batter, and a blown save.
A few weeks ago, in the midst of some very bad struggles, Bard sought out former college teammate and current Sox reliever Andrew Miller for some advice.
“A couple weeks ago they went out to dinner. Their relationship goes back to when they were teammates at the University of North Carolina,” said McGair. “They just talked because, this time at least, Andrew Miller is the one who has figured things out to the point where he is Boston’s top left-handed option. Bard is the one who is struggling now. Not too long ago, Miller was the one bouncing between the majors and the minors.”
Bard is 1-0 in 11 games for Pawtucket, allowing 12 hits, 10 walks and 12 earned runs over 13.1 innings pitched.
Plus, how are the other players that the Sox have down in Pawtucket doing? McGair has all the info from down on the Sox’ farm!