Daniel Bard’s personal scorecard: Velocity? Check. Action on his slider? Check. Location of his pitches? Check.
Results? A 9.00 ERA after 10 games (nine innings). The Rockies’ closer has been scored upon in five of his last six outings, allowing 14 hits and walking three.
Sunday afternoon, the Diamondbacks pounded him for four runs on four hits in the eighth inning of their 8-4 victory over Colorado.
The rough inning left Bard perplexed.
“It’s one of two things,” said the right-hander, whose fastball hit 99 mph. “It’s either that the sequencing is getting too predictable, or they know what’s coming. It’s one or the other.”
Bard has a game plan to get back in sync.
“I’ll sit down with coaches, and catchers, as well,” he said. “We’ll address that and see where we think that’s coming from. Like I said, it’s either sequencing, getting too predictable or tipping (pitches).
“I feel really good throwing the baseball. I can’t throw the ball much better than that, as far as just strictly looking at pitch execution.”
Manager Bud Black saw things a little bit differently.
“The slider command was pretty good but the fastball command really didn’t seem to be there,” Black said. “He couldn’t really get the fastball in good spots.”
Black said he brought Bard into pitch in the eighth inning because Bard needed to see some action.
“He’s well-rested and that’s one of the reasons he came in the eighth,” Black said. “He had only pitched twice in 12 days. We needed to get him in there.”
“Tap time.” Ramiel Tapia got red hot in the desert. He batted 7-for-11 over the final two games of the four-game series and his two-out RBI single in the eighth was a part of the Rockies’ game-tying rally.
He also made a terrific diving catch on the left-field foul line for the final out of the third inning and stole two bases, including one in the eighth that set him up to be the tying run from second base.
Although the Rockies are scuffling, especially on the road, Tapia just keeps hitting. He’s batting .320 with a .801 OPS.
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Source:: The Denver Post – Sports
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