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Daniel Bard’s control issues deepen in five-walk yield for Portland

05.15.13 at 9:46 pm ET

Red Sox right-hander Daniel Bard‘s command issues appear to be reaching the point of crisis in the most literal sense, as it seems almost impossible that he should remain in Double-A Portland while ensnared in a struggle for the strike zone that has become worse than anything he dealt with last year.

On Wednesday, Bard allowed a hit, walked five, unleashed two wild pitches and permitted two runs in one inning of work. He threw just eight of 30 pitches for strikes. The outing almost could have been deemed a positive step after Bard worked around a pair of walks in the sixth inning to limit the damage to one run by getting a double-play grounder and another groundout. But he returned to the mound for a second inning of work and walked all three batters he faced.

Bard threw strikes on just 27 percent of his pitches, his worst percentage of any outing in the last two years. In five appearances since returning to Double-A after a brief promotion to the big leagues, Bard has now thrown strikes on just 34 percent of his pitches. He’s walked 13 in 3 2/3 innings.

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