Tuesday, April 10, 2012
What To Make Of Daniel Bard: Game 5 preview BOS 1-3 @ TOR 2-2
After having their home opener spoiled by a ninth inning loss at the hands of Dustin Pedroia and company, the Blue Jays seek redemption tonight at Rogers Centre in game two of the three game set.
Kyle Drabek gets the ball for the Blue Jays. While Boston will counter with Daniel Bard, making his first start as a member of the Sox rotation.
For the last two seasons, Daniel Bard has been a dependable, imperative piece for the Red Sox as their eighth inning guy. Last year he struck out 74 batters in 73 innings and had a WHIP under 1 at 0.959. In 2010 he had 76 strike outs in 74.2 innings pitched, with a WHIP of 1.004 and a sparkling ERA of just 1.93. Bard has been dominant.
This year however, Bard has made the conversion to be a starter and was able to nail down the fifth rotation spot after a less than stellar spring. In Grapefruit League action this March, Bard threw 24.2 innings with only 18 strikeouts and 16 walks. Finishing with a spring ERA of 6.57 and a WHIP of 1.5. Well above his career numbers.
I saw Bard pitch against the Blue Jays on March 25 and found him to be much less impressive than when I last saw him during the 2011 season. He gave up 5 runs on 6 hits (including an Adam Lind HR) and 3 walks through 6 innings.
With the trouble that Boston has been having in the late innings with their bull pen (excluding last night of course) you would have to think that if Bard struggles early, he will be headed right back to the pen. All signs so far point to Bard struggling as a stater, but we all know that spring numbers don't count. Otherwise the Jays would already be in first place by a mile.
Toronto counters with Kyle Drabek. Last year Kyle struggled early with his control and was sent to Vegas to work things out. This spring his numbers were pretty good, but the walks are still a bit of an issue. I got the chance to talk to Buck Martinez in Dunedin and he spoke very highly of Drabek. Saying that he was looking very good and appeared to be very receptive of the coaching staff and was working hard to be better. Buck seemed to be of the opinion that if Drabek made the rotation out of spring training, he would stick. I hope he is right.
First pitch is at 7:07. After a sell out last night, I hope to see a lot of people back at the ball yard tonight with the hopes of a better result.