BOSTON (CBS) — Just as transitioning from a reliever into a starter took some time, the switch back to the bullpen for Daniel Bard has had its fair share of ups and downs.
But after a rather disastrous performance last week, Bard rebounded nicely with a 1-2-3 inning on Sunday for the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox.
Bard struck out two of the three batters he faced in the eighth inning, with the PawSox leading 4-1. He struck out Chris Marrerro on three pitches, induced a pop-up from Jim Negrych and caught Jesus Valdez looking, needing just four pitches for that strikeout.
Bard told the Providence Journal afterwards that he feels he’s getting his feel back for what works as a reliever.
“I really feel like I’m getting back to the routine I used for almost three years in Boston and what’s worked for me,” he told the Journal. “It’s funny the little things you forget because I didn’t do it for half a season. I’m just getting back into all of those little things that get me locked in.”
Bard said his wild outing last week was at least partly due to the fact that he pitched the fifth inning, something he said he wasn’t mentally prepared for.
“The routine of trying to get back into it is kind of a fragile thing, and you’ve got to make sure everything goes right,” Bard said. “That caught me off-guard a little bit. I was physically ready to go, but I mentally hadn’t gone through the routine I like to go through. … I’m going to look at that is just a blip on the radar.