Red Sox reliever Daniel Bard, who allowed three runs (two earned) in an inning of work to suffer the defeat in his team's 5-4 loss, said that he has identified a mechanical glitch that has led to his recent struggles.
Bard has given up runs in three straight outings -- the second longest streak of his career -- and in four of his last five contests while getting hit to the tune of a 17.36 ERA during the month of September. He has suffered three losses this month, giving him eight for the year, the most by a Sox reliever since Derek Lowe endured 10 relief losses in 2001.
But Bard suggested that the issue is correctable, and represents a mechanical issue rather than a health problem.
"I'm struggling just, the timing with my delivery is just not there. I can feel it on every pitch. Something feels a little bit different," said Bard. "I've been through it before. I think the effects of it are kind of magnified by how big these games are. Sometimes you go out there and your mechanics are kind of off and you get through an inning when they swing at a few pitches out the zone and it gets you back in it. Unfortunately for me they haven't been doing that lately.
"You guys haven't seen me do it a lot up here because it hasn't happened much," he added. "It has happened to me before and I've gotten through it. Like I said, it has been kind of magnified because of the hitters approach to the location of the pitches. It's something I've fixed before and I'll fix it again. I'll do what it takes the next couple of days to put in the work and find my delivery again."
Bard suggested that his struggles have increased as he has been thinking through his mechanics while on the mound. That said, he also believes that between his knowledge of his delivery and the familiarity of both bullpen coach Gary Tuck and pitching coach Curt Young with his delivery, that a fix will occur soon.
"I know this team needs me, and I want to be a big part of this team’s success," said Bard. "I know that to get to the playoffs, and once we get to the playoffs, that they’re going to need me. I’ll figure it out."
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