Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Awesomeness of the Bard

So I knew that Bard was pitching lights out recently. What I didn't know was just how good he's been:
[Bard has] allowed a grand total of seven runs in 47 innings, including a Red Sox-record 21 straight scoreless appearances dating all the way back to May 23. ...That stretch includes 22.2 scoreless innings, during which time opponents have batted just .108 with one extra-base hit against Bard and he’s lowered his ERA from 3.65 to 1.90.
That's pretty awesome, and more food for the "Bard will be the closer next year" assumption that most Sox observers preach. However, I found this article interesting in that it presents an interesting scenario in which the Sox would sign Papelbon to an extension. Money quote:
Brian MacPherson's... thinking: there are a lot of relief pitchers who will be available this winter, which could depress Papelbon’s asking price on the open market. At the same time, Papelbon has been really good this year, reminding the Sox of just what they’ve had and what they might miss.
I don't really buy it, mainly because I still think Paps will demand more money than his performance really dictates, but it does seem foolish to let go of a decent reliever knowing how hard it is to find good ones out there.


  1. "At the same time, Papelbon has been really good this year"

    Err, I wish I felt the same.

    Impressively, he has only 1 blown save, and no losses. I'll give him that. But that seems to be a function of the fact that the Red Sox give him a lot of 3-run leads to work with. It seems like he gives up a run in nearly every game I watch.

    That and there's the fact that he's being paid $12 million this year. Is he going to settle for less than that?

  2. Good points, and the money factor alone means that he's probably gone. And I agree with you that he hasn't been *that* good this year (in a previous post, I believe we talked about his sub-par stats this year). Still, if money wasn't a factor, and he didn't demand to be kept the a closer, it seems like we could do worse than keep him, given that relievers are so volatile from year to year. In short, i'm trying to say that if money wasn't a factor, I'd rather keep Paps in a non-closer role than sign another Jenks or long-shot reliever.

  3. i'm *very* impressed with Bard this year. his slider is silly... probably an even better pitch than his blazing fastball and all the better because of it too. i liked the poise he showed the other night when he loaded the bases too... the one thing i wonder about him is his tipping point (from pressure). we know papelbon has the "sand" to gut through high pressure situations... and even if he mystifies us otherwise, i still believe in him when it *really* matters. it was nice to see bard tested and for him to pass. i'd certainly like to see him in a few more of those situations first before i'd crown him papelbon's successor.

    what's bard's contract btw? do we know he'll be around?