With the death of Johnny Pesky, and the off-field drama surrounding the Red Sox, we all forgot about Daniel Bard. He's still toiling in AAA, still trying to figure out how to pitch again.
It's not going well. On Tuesday he had an atrocious outing. He faced 5 batters, and walked 4 of them. He threw 27 pitches, only 10 were strikes. He walked the last 2 batters he faced on 8 straight pitches.
August has been bad for Bard. In 4.2 innings this month, he's walked 10 and allowed 8 earned runs. He had shown signs of improvement in July, but now is back to struggling just to throw strikes.
The problem is mechanical. The problem is mental. And those two problems are likely interrelated. He has no confidence.
It's time to shut him down. His issues won't be solved on the mound in 2012. Maybe send him to Florida to pitch simulated games. Maybe give him a few months off and let him play winter ball in Mexico. Let him get away from this problem and just be Daniel Bard. Not Daniel Bard: struggling pitcher.
His career might not be over, but his 2012 season should be.
And want to get pissed off? Bard and Josh Beckett are tied with the same number of wins this season. 5 wins.