[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.