Bard gives up run in one inning out of PawSox pen

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Bard gives up run in one inning out of PawSox pen

PAWTUCKET, R.I. In his second outing with Triple-A Pawtucket since being demoted June 7, Daniel Bard pitched one inning Monday night against the Gwinnett Braves. He gave up one run on one hit and one walk with two strikeouts.

He threw 22 pitches, 11 for strikes, with just one first-pitch strike, to his fifth and final batter. Bard has an ERA of 18.00 with Pawtucket.

The PawSox lost to Gwinnett, 11-8.

Entering in the sixth inning with the PawSox trailing by five runs, Bard gave up a lead-off single to Jose Constanza, the Braves lead-off hitter, and a four-pitch walk to Luis Durango. A passed ball on the third pitch to Durango had already sent Constanza to second base. On a 2-1 pitch to Tyler Pastornicky, Constanza and Durango completed a double steal. Pastornicky grounded out to Pedro Ciriaco at short, scoring Constanza.

Bard got out of the inning with consecutive strikeouts. He retired Ernesto Mejia, swinging at an 85-mph slider, and Stefan Gartrell looking at an 83-mph slider.

Bards fastball velocity was in the 92-94 mph range.

I thought there were some real positive steps tonight, said manager Arnie Beyeler. I thought he did a nice job. To start with he got guys out. He got two big hitters out in the middle of the order. I thought some real positive steps. Had some plane to his ball. Was around the zone better. And I know they put some good work in, him and pitching coach Rich Sauveur out there, and he felt good coming in tonight and felt positive. so even though he was around the zone, still wasnt as consistent as I know he needs to be at the next level, but definitely positive steps from the last time out.

Bard also was pleased with his outing.

It took me two batters I think to really get locked in to an arm slot, Bard said. I was a little bit low, lower than I would like on those first couple hitters and you saw some balls running away from me. And then I make the adjustment and I think pitched pretty well to those last three guys. So the nice thing is I can focus on that and say I wasnt perfect but it doesnt matter. I was locked in, I got something good to walk away with those last three hitters.

He looked like he was thinking too much, said one scout in attendance. He usually looks so fluid. But he wasnt finishing his pitches.

He looked awful on the first two batters, and much better for the last three, said another. I think they did the right thing letting him pitch one inning and get some confidence back. I still think hes a seventh or eighth inning pitcher, nothing more, nothing less.

Bard had originally been scheduled to start the game. Instead, he was taken out of the starters role, as CSNNE.com was the first to report earlier Monday, with right-hander Billy Buckner making the start, with Bard scheduled to pitch one inning.

Bard has not given up on starting.

I just told them after that last one Friday night, I said that starting with the intention of going one inning just felt really strange, Bard said. I mean, it felt like a very manufactured situation, didnt feel like I was really part of a baseball game. So I just told them, I said Im all good with the short stints closer together. I think thats a good way to get back on track but I dont see, if were trying to go with more of a bullpen feel, which is kind of what they talked to me about when we get through this and then translate to starting, I said why dont we just do it out of the bullpen? So, I told them lets just do that. And they were OK with it, with the intent of doing this a few times and like I said, translating back to starting.

The current situation for Bard is still a work in process, with the next steps not entirely known.

I dont know, Beyeler said. I would assume hes going to throw another inning or two, probably Thursday (the PawSox have an off-day Wednesday). I would assume that but that hasnt been verified or passed along. That was kind of the plan going along the last weve heard.

Buckner took the loss, falling to 0-1 with an ERA of 11.42. He went 4 23 innings, giving up seven runs on nine hits and three walks with one strikeout and three home runs.

The PawSox outhit the Braves, 15-14. Every PawSox batter in the starting lineup had at least one hit except second baseman Tony Thomas.

Lars Anderson went 3-for-4 with three runs, scored, three RBI, one walk, a double, and a home run, falling a triple shy of the cycle. The solo shot in the eighth was his eighth home run of the season.

Alex Hassan went 3-for-5 with two RBI.

Farrell defends Sox' shoulder program, but he first raised the issue

Farrell defends Sox' shoulder program, but he first raised the issue

Red Sox manager John Farrell didn’t scream “fake news" on Tuesday,  but he might as well have.

The only problem is he seems to be forgetting his own words, and his reliever’s.

Righty Tyler Thornburg is starting his Red Sox career on the disabled list because of a shoulder impingement. 

Another Dave Dombrowski pitching acquisition, another trip to the disabled list. Ho hum.

But the reason Thornburg is hurt, Farrell said, has nothing to do with the Red Sox’ shoulder program -- the same program Farrell referenced when talking about Thornburg earlier this month.

“There’s been a lot written targeting our shoulder program here,” Farrell told reporters on Tuesday, including the Providence Journal’s Tim Britton. “I would discount that completely. He came into camp, he was throwing the ball extremely well, makes two appearances. They were two lengthy innings in which inflammation flared up to the point of shutting him down. But in the early work in spring training, he was throwing the ball outstanding. So to suggest that his situation or his symptoms are now the result of our shoulder program, that’s false.”

Let’s go back to March 10, when Farrell was asked in his usual pregame session with reporters about Thornburg’s status.

"He is throwing long-toss out to 120 feet today," Farrell said that day. “He’s also been going through a strength and conditioning phase, arm-wise. What we encounter with guys coming from other organizations, and whether it's Rick [Porcello], David [Price], guys that come in, and they go through our shoulder maintenance program, there's a period of adaptation they go through, and Tyler’s going through that right now. We're also going to get him on the mound and get some fundamental work with his delivery and just timing, and that's soon to come in the coming days. Right now it's long toss out to 120 feet.”

So Farrell volunteered, after Thornburg was taken out of game action, that the shoulder program appeared involved. 

Maybe that turned out not to be the case. But Farrell's the one who put this idea out there.

On March 11, Farrell was asked to elaborate about other pitchers who needed adjusting to how the Red Sox do their shoulder program.

“Rick Porcello is an example of that. Joe Kelly,” Farrell said. “And that's not to say that our program is the end-all, be-all, or the model for which everyone should be compared. That's just to say that what we do here might be a little more in-depth based on a conversation with the pitchers, that what they've experienced and what we ask them to do here. And large in part, it's with manual resistance movements on the training table. These are things that are not maybe administered elsewhere, so the body goes through some adaptation to get to that point. 

“So, in other words, a pitcher that might come in here previously, he pitched, he’s got recovery time and he goes and pitches again. There's a lot of work and exercise in between the outings that they may feel a little fatigued early on. But once they get those patterns, and that consistent work, the body adapts to it and their recovery times become much shorter. And it's one of the reasons we've had so much success keeping pitchers healthy and on the field.”

Except that Kelly has had a shoulder impingement in his time with the Red Sox, last April, and so too now does Thornburg.

In quotes that appeared in a March 12 story, Thornburg himself told the Herald’s Michael Silverman that he didn’t understand the Red Sox throwing program.

Thornburg said that after the December trade, he was sent a list of exercises from the training staff. The message he did not receive was that all of the exercises were to be performed daily.

“I kind of figured that this is a list of the exercises they incorporated, I didn’t think this is what they do all in one day,” said Thornburg. “I thought, ‘here’s a list of exercises, learn them, pick five or six of them,’ because that was pretty much what we did in Milwaukee.”

But according to Farrell, Thornburg’s current state has nothing to do with the program -- the same one Farrell himself cited when directly asked about Thornburg before.

Maybe the program was the wrong thing to point to originally. But Farrell did point to it.

"This is all still in line with the shoulder fatigue, the shoudler impingement and the subsequent inflammation that he's dealing with. That’s the best I can tell you at this point," Farrell said Tuesday. "Anytime a player, and we've had a number of players come in, when you come into a new organization, there's a period where guys adapt. Could it have been different from what he's done in the past? Sure. But to say it's the root cause, that’s a little false. That’s a lot false, and very short-sighted."

Hey, he started it.

Thornburg is not to throw for a week before a re-evaluation.

Report: Trump won't throw out first pitch

Report: Trump won't throw out first pitch

One White House tradition will have to wait, if it’s in fact maintained.

President Donald Trump is not going to throw out a ceremonial first pitch for the Washington Nationals this season, according to the Washington Post.

Post reporter Barry Svrugula wrote on Twitter on Tuesday that the White House declined an invitation from the Nats.

POLITICO reported early Tuesday morning that Trump was in talks to throw out the first pitch and that it was also possible he could spend an inning in the MASN booth.

President William Howard Taft began the custom of U.S. presidents throwing out a first pitch on April 14, 1910, at National Stadium in D.C.

According to The Week:

“Since Taft, every president not named Jimmy Carter has thrown out at least one Opening Day first pitch. The executive guests of honor followed in Taft's hefty footsteps, throwing the first ball from the stands, until the late 1980s when Ronald Reagan sauntered onto the mound and improved upon the tradition."

The most famous presidential pitch in recent memory is George W. Bush’s toss during the 2001 World Series at Yankee Stadium.

The Nats open their season on Monday at home in Washington D.C., in a 1:05 p.m. game against the Miami Marlins. A Nationals Magic 8 Ball is to be given away to the first 20,000 fans.

The Red Sox happen to play the Nats in a pair of exhibitions right before the season, on Friday and Saturday. Friday’s game is at the Nats’ home park in D.C. Saturday’s game is to be played in Annapolis, Md., at the U.S. Naval Academy.