PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — There has been much discussion about Daniel Bard‘s velocity – or lack thereof – on his fastball. The 98 and 99 MPH readings that were commonplace in the spring of 2009 and ’10 are not there.
But the right-hander isn’t worried.
He threw mostly fastballs to the Tampa Bay Rays in the fifth inning Monday, his only inning of work, and those fastballs ranged mostly between 92-94 MPH, with a couple topping out at 95.
“I think overall, I would say it was better,” Bard said. “I’m just still working hard to get on top of every pitch. Still have a little bit of a tendency a little rotational and I think that’s where you see some of those errant ones. For the most part, mechanics feel good. Just that one little thing, keeping my hand on top of the ball and driving down through the zone is key for me.
“It’s a small thing that takes a lot of reps to get it right. I had a some bad habits built up from last year. We’ve corrected most of them and that’s just the one thing we’re working on. I feel good. I feel like I can finally trust myself with throwing the ball where I want to and just attacking guys.”
Bard lost his fastball when the Red Sox moved him to the rotation and he started pitching with the mentality of conserving energy and pitches. Now back in the bullpen, Bard believes that once the mechanics are fixed, his upper-90s fastball will return.
“I think so. I think there’s probably three or four miles an hour just in having a little better finish on top of the ball, just backspinning the ball,” Bard said after Monday’s outing. “It’s close. I’m doing on certain pitches and not others. When that last bit of mechanics becomes consistent, I feel good about where it’s headed.”
Mechanics and mentality are two things Pedro Martinez has been watching and working on with Bard. The results are not consistently there but Bard believes they will be.
One pitch that is already game-ready is his slider.
Bard struck out Hak-Ju Lee on a slider down and in before hitting Leslie Anderson and walking Luke Scott. He got a big break when Sean Rodriguez lined into a inning-ending double play at third base. One inning, no hits, no runs, one walk, one strikeout and one hit batter.
Bard admitted after the game that he’s simplified his slider, throwing just one instead of three variations, at least to start training camp.
“I think a few months away from baseball gives you a fresh mindset and a little broader point of view to look back on last season and look forward to a new season, knowing the ability is still all there. I feel good.
“[The slider] felt good. That pitch has been there for me since I started throwing this year, just had a good feel for the spin. That’s not always there this early. That’s nice. You could say that’s been my most effective pitch for a couple of years there as far as striking guys out. It’s good to know it’s there.”
Even though it was just one batter – the leadoff batter in the fifth – Bard feels like he’s getting the mentality of being able to put hitters away.
“That’s huge, just to get out there and feel like I’m used to feeling on the mound. It’s a good feeling,” Bard said. “I used the word ‘feel’ a lot right there but that’s kind of what it’s all about, is having that feel out there. I’m confident right now. I feel like I can get anybody out in the box. It’s just that little bit of consistency but the mentality and focus has definitely been good.”
We check in with Patriots special teams captain Matthew Slater on a Patriots Monday as the Patriots prepare for their fourth pre-season game, and are 10 days away from opening the 2015 season.
We check in with the head coach of the Patriots on a Pats Monday to get his take on the win over Carolina, pre-season game number four, and the numerous cuts to the team's roster he must make in the upcoming weeks.
Danny Amendola joined the show to talk about the addition of Reggie Wayne to the receiving group, the offensive tempo in game 3 of the preseason, and who is the most stylish in the locker room.
Jay King of Masslive.com joins the show to break down the performance of the Celtics during the NBA Summer League. Then Ben and Sam discuss the exciting possibility of a Space Jam sequel.
Michael joins Ben and Sam to discuss the wild NBA Free Agency period and the upcoming Celtics season.
How long will this rebuild take? How much money will it take to keep Bae Crowder? Are Draft Picks even worth anything? With the Danny Ainge not landing any big names in the draft, and unable to lure any big names in free agency, Sam and Ben discussed if the Celtics are doomed moving forward.
Joe Castiglione & Lou Merloni talked to the Sox outfielder, who had three hits and threw out a runner at home in the win over the Yankees.
Butch and John are talking Red Sox on the Sunday Sports Roundtable. They get into the current state of the rotation and how things have improved as of late. Joe Kelly has been on fire, but is he a trade asset? The guys discuss the starting pitchers that will be free agents this year and if any are good fits in Boston. Then they move on to the decision to let Orsillo go in favor of Dave O'Brien - Tomase has an interesting perspective on this topic.
Joe & Dave talked to the Sox starter, who pitched into the eighth inning and allowed just one run in the win over the Mets.
Don Sweeney, who was hired as the Bruins general manager yesterday speaks with Dale and Holley about his new position and where the Bruins go from here.
The awesomely knowledgeable Fluto Shinzawa calls DJ, Naoko and Pete to talk about his thoughts on the future of the B's. He discusses his column from earlier this week on Cam Neely wanting to give Claude the ax earlier in the season but not getting the ok. Fluto shares his thoughts on Chiarelli's firing, the future for Claude and where the Bruins should go from here. He also gives his opinion on potential moves the team can make, who would fit in here, his thoughts on the NHL playoffs so far and more.
In the final hour of the "midseason finale" as DJ likes to call it, the crew discuss more about the future of the Bruins franchise, the possible power struggle in the front office and who should be the head coach going forward. They talk to intelligent and talented Fluto Shinzawa about all of these thing and more in an excellent interview, and finally, DJ says THANK YOU!
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
Kirk and Dino gave their thoughts on the next move in Brady vs Goodell.
Tom gave his thoughts on what he saw yesterday in Judge Berman's courtroom.
Jay Feely explains why he was in court with Tom Brady on Monday, and what was said in the robing room with Judge Berman.
Tyler Seguin was partying all summer in Toronto. Former Toronto Maple Leafs CEO Richard Peddie tattled on him. Also, Marshawn Lynch continues to be awkward, as he sells Skittles on cable TV.
Shannon Sharpe was on First Take yesterday comparing Brady's alleged deflating of footballs, to Alex Rodriguez' admitted use of steroids.
We discuss the latest from Judge Berman in the deflategate case, and what it might mean.
We close out the Dale and Holley program with some of the best sound of the day that you may have missed.
We discuss the NFL's insistence and inconsistency when they continue to rely on the term 'integrity' throughout this deflategate process.
Chris Mortensen went on a sports radio station in Arizona today and talked about his deflate gate reporting, and said that the Krafts called him to apologize over the whole situation. Only thing is there's a report tonight from D&C saying their sources at the Patriots are saying that did not happen, could Mort be, dare I say, wrong?
Chris Villani and Lenny Megs talk with Bob McGovern about the proceedings in the Tom Brady and NFL's deflate gate court case.
Villani is in for Mikey, he's talking about Chris Mortensen going on an Arizona station and talking about deflate gate and getting an apology from the Krafts.
Ken Laird and Ryan Hannable are joined this week by special guests Jim Callis of MLB.com and Rob Bradford of WEEI.com to discuss what new GM Dave Dombrowski will do with his new prospect system. Also, do the Sox really have the best Farm system in baseball? Finally, Ken travels to Lowell to chat with Spinners' catcher Austin Rei and manager Joe Oliver.
It’s peek draft season so Jim Hackett and Pete Davidson are back with today’s Fantasy Football Podcast on Draft Strategy. Pete Davidson’s article at Rotobahn.com “The 2015 Draft Plan” fuels a deep conversation on how to approach the draft at all the key positions Quarterback, Runningback, Wide Receiver, Tight End and Defense. Get prepared and Happy Drafting!
Ben, Russ & Alex discuss their favorite transfer moves of the window, Alex shares his dislike for Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and just how far can the Revs go this season?
Butch Stearns and Rob Bradford discuss the New England Patriots third preseason game from Friday night, in particular Tom Brady's performance. Also, the guys discuss the most interesting contact in Butch's phone and ESPN's different handling of Curt Schilling and Chris Mortensen.More from this show
Jim Hackett and Rotobahn.com's Pete Davidson get things going this week discussing all of the latest injuries that can effect your fantasy team or draft in the midst of Week 3 of the preseason. They talk some of the impressive performances coming out of the games Thursday-Saturday. The boys chat about the various rankings and how they are constantly updating these list on Rotobahn.com and the Rotobahn 500. They go in depth on the tight end position, which is very top heavy -- 5 or 6 very good TE's and then a bunch of mediocre guys and unknowns. Jim and Pete also get into 10-team and 12-team league approaches, value picks late in your draft and how the waiver wire is your friend.More from this show
Danny Picard and Bill Speros discuss the state of the Boston Red Sox after taking two of three from the NY Mets, and the state of the Patriots after their third preseason game.More from this show
Dave Portnoy gave us the latest from the Brady Goodell hearing.More from this show