After getting a win in relief Monday night against the Twins, Daniel Bard delivered the strongest start of his major league career in a 10-3 win over the White Sox last night.
Bard allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits over a career-high seven innings while striking out six and walking just one. After surrendering a fifth inning solo homer to Paul Konerko, he responded by retiring 13 of the final 14 batters he faced. Bard’s command and control won’t be this precise every time out, as we have already seen this season, but an outing like this functions as a reminder that he has a chance to be much more valuable as a starting pitcher than a reliever.
As for the Red Sox, they have now won five in a row to move to 9-10 on the season. Funny what some games against some lesser competition will do. They’ll go for their sixth straight this evening when Jon Lester takes on the undefeated Jake Peavy.
Your Friday box scores:
Athletics 5, Orioles 2
Cubs 5, Phillies 1
Astros 6, Reds 4
Angels 2, Indians 3
Diamondbacks 5, Marlins 0
Tigers 6, Yankees 7
Pirates 1, Braves 6
Mariners 9, Blue Jays 5 (10 innings)
Brewers 1, Cardinals 13
Rays 8, Rangers 4
Mets 9, Rockies 18
Nationals 2, Dodgers 3
Royals 7, Twins 6
Padres 5, Giants 3
Phil Hughes was officially designated for assignment by the Twins on Tuesday, the culmination of multiple injury-plagued seasons and poor performance.
Things couldn’t have started out much better for Hughes in Minnesota. The former Yankees hurler joined the Twins on a three-year, $24 million contract in December of 2013 and reeled off a 3.52 ERA over 32 starts during his first season with the club. He set the MLB record (which still stands, by the way) for single season strikeout-to-walk ratio and even received some downballot Cy Young Award consideration. The big year resulted in the two sides ripping up their previous agreement with a new five-year, $58 million deal, but it was all downhill after that.
Hughes took a step back with a 4.40 ERA in 2015 and struggled with a 5.95 ERA over 11 starts and one relief appearance in 2016 before undergoing surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. He wasn’t any better upon his return last year, putting up a 5.87 ERA in nine starts and five relief appearances. Hughes missed time with a biceps issue and required a thoracic outlet revision surgery in August. He began this year on the disabled list with an oblique injury, only to put up a 6.75 ERA over two starts and five relief appearances before the Twins decided to turn the page this week.
Hughes is still owed the remainder of his $13.2 million salary for this year and another $13.2 million next year. The deal didn’t work out as anyone would have hoped, but unfortunately this is another case of health just not cooperating.