Rockies’ Daniel Bard hits 99 km / h, takes MLB return win after seven-year absence


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In the fifth round of the Rockies’ final Saturday victory over the Rangers (COL 3, TEX 2), reliever Daniel Bard took over for Colorado. This is notable because in doing so, Bard appeared in a major league game for the first time since April 27, 2013 – that is, over seven years ago, or to be exact. 2646 days.

Bard, a first-round pick in the University of North Carolina draft in 2006, made his reliever debut with the Red Sox in 2009 and has been generally effective over three seasons. The Red Sox tried to move him to a starting role, but around this time Bard almost completely lost his punching ability. After the 2012 season in which he pitched a 6.22 ERA and walked 43 batters in 59 1/3 innings, Bard’s big-league career appeared to be in jeopardy. Other equally disastrous juvenile stints with the Red Sox, Cardinals, Rangers and Mets followed.

Against all odds, Bard, now 35, returned to the top level. In case you thought otherwise, this is not a simple act of novelty. Bard still has a huge fastball, as Rougned Odor from Texas would surely say:

Yes, it’s 99 mph on the gun, and that, suffice it to say, is elite fastball speed. That day, Bard worked 1 1/3 scoring innings on two hits and one strikeout against no walk. Of his 25 shots, 20 were hit. The strike is his first since April 25, 2013. Bard was also credited with the win on Saturday, and it was his first MLB win since May 29, 2012.

Without a doubt, Bard looked like a quality major league reliever on Saturday, but even though his return is short-lived, it’s already a baseball miracle. Given Bard’s obvious will and willpower, he won’t settle for “just” that.


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