|Daniel Bard regrets shaking off Salty and watching his streak come to an end||08.02.11 at 12:21 am ET|
Daniel Bard hasn’t gotten this far in his big league career and had the success he’s had without paying attention to the little details.
That’s why Monday’s game might stick in his craw just a little longer than normal.
He threw a pitch – that in hindsight – he had no reason to throw since recent history dictated that you don’t sneak a slider down and in on Asdrubal Cabrera.
And the last thing Bard wanted was to have his career-best 26 1/3 scoreless innings streak end and have it end costing the Red Sox a game. But that’s what happened Monday night when he gave up a two-run homer to Cabrera in the eighth inning, leading the Indians to a 9-6 win over the Red Sox at Fenway.
Ironically, it was Cabrera who last got to Bard for an RBI hit when he doubled off the Sox reliever on May 23 with two outs to help the Indians to a 3-2 win in Cleveland. Between that May 23 appearance and Monday night, when he shook off Jarrod Saltalamacchia and went to a slider to Cabrera, Bard had gone 25 straight outings without allowing a run.
The second Cabrera homer of the night came on a 1-2 pitch, a slider that Bard was trying to sneak past Cabrera. Instead, it was blasted like a rocket to right, caroming off a fan’s left knee and flying back out to right fielder Josh Reddick. After ruling it initially a single, the umpires went back in and looked more closely. Verdict: Ball struck the fan sitting down clearly on the other side of the fence and in fair territory.
“Apparently, hit a lady in the knee,” Bard said after seeing the stitches from the ball leave a mark in the woman’s left knee. “From my perspective it looked like it stayed in the park but it looks like they got it right. The pitch to Cabrera I thought was a pretty good pitch and I didn’t realize Lackey had thrown him quite of few of those same sliders down and in. I think he was probably sitting on that one. So I probably should’ve stayed hard with him there.
“He’s a good hitter,” Bard said of his nemesis Cabrera. “He hit a really good changeup the last time for an RBI. He’s a really good hitter, makes adjustments. We pitched him the same too many times and he made us pay.”
Bard is now 1-5 on the season after taking the loss Monday but he still has an impressive 2.28 ERA with a WHIP of 0.88. The even more impressive numbers of the streak: His 25 consecutive outings without allowing a run is a new Red Sox record and since 1974, the innings streak was the longest by any Red Sox pitcher since Bob Stanley went 27 1/3 innings scoreless between July 29-Sept. 1, 1980.
“Start a new streak [Tuesday],” said Bard, who threw just 20 pitches before being replaced by lefty Randy Williams. “I don’t really care about it. It went way longer than I probably ever expected it would. I’m all about helping the team win and tonight I didn’t do that, streak or no streak and we just have to move forward.”
Red Sox manager Terry Francona joked that Bard really let his team down Monday before getting serious and admitting that once Cabrera had done his damage, he was looking ahead to Tuesday night, at least as Bard was concerned.
“Yeah, he needs to pick it up a little bit,” Francona joked. “We talked about it before the game. He’s going to give up runs at some point. That’s why we took him out when we did so we can get him right back out there tomorrow, not waste his pitches when were down. Same thing [with John Lackey] he tried to get a slider under [hands] of lefty and didn’t quite get it there.”
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