By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com Follow @maureenamullen
BOSTON -- For all the encouragement the Red Sox took out of Friday's 4-3 win over the Rays, the return of Daniel Bard may have been the most heartening.
Bards three strikeouts in the eighth inning were the most hes recorded since three in that same game in Toronto. He faced four Rays batter, allowing only a walk to Ben Zobrist.
Bard has been roughed up in recent outings. So to have a strong, scoreless inning was important.
A little bit of mechanics and just some dry work, just to try to get my timing back, Bard said of what hes been working on. It was really just simplifying my body out there just not thinking, I want to get out there and just think about attacking hitters.
I told him this the other day, I said, Theres not anybody i would rather have in my foxhole than him, Josh Beckett said. Hes Daniel Bard. I dont know what everybody else is saying but i want him pitching the eighth every game i start. For the rest of my career. I dont know if thats going to happen but thatd be pretty good. Id like my chances.
Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen
Three weeks into the season, health has dominated the conversation with the Red Sox. And it’s much more than just the flu.
A scheduled off-day Monday brought something resembling an update for three players worth roughly $63 million in salary.
Dustin Pedroia, Orioles peacemaker, was examined at Massachusetts General Hospital and remains day-to-day because of left ankle and left knee soreness. He did not undergo an MRI, with his condition apparently good enough that the team felt it was unnecessary -- even though the message delivered on Sunday by manager John Farrell was that the Sox wanted to rule everything out.
Pedroia hasn’t played since he was spiked by Manny Machado on Friday in Baltimore.
Pablo Sandoval, at some point Monday, was slated to have an MRI after spraining his right knee Sunday. A further evaluation is to come Tuesday, so his status remains unclear.
David Price, meanwhile, threw a 45-pitch bullpen at Fenway Park on his long journey back from a left elbow strain. There were simulated inning breaks and, naturally, what’s next is still to be seen. Facing hitters shouldn’t be too far away, Farrell has suggested.
Jared Carrabis' reaction to the Pedroia/Machado/Barnes drama was that the Boston Red Sox have a rival again.