With two dominant innings on Sunday, Colorado Rockies closer Daniel Bard not only slammed the door on the Los Angeles Dodgers, but also etched his name in MLB’s record books as well.
Colorado Rockies closer Daniel Bard had a dominant final two innings on Sunday against the Los Angeles Dodgers
Entering the game in the eighth inning and with the Colorado Rockies holding a 2-1 edge, Bard began a string of strikeouts, whiffing Trea Turner, Freddie Freeman, and Will Smith to end the frame. The Rockies scored two runs in the top of the ninth on a Sean Bouchard double and Ezequiel Tovar single to boost the lead to 4-1, and Colorado manager Bud Black stuck with Bard in the bottom of the ninth.
Bard rewarded his manager by striking out Max Muncy, Joey Gallo, and Gavin Lux (around a Justin Turner single) to end the game, snap Colorado’s seven-game losing streak, and earn his 33rd save of the season.
By striking out six batters to earn the save, Bard added his name to a very exclusive list of relievers. Per Elias, Bard is just the fifth pitcher since 1969 (the first year that saves became an official statistic) to pitch 2+ scoreless innings to earn a save, with all 6+ outs coming via strikeout. It’s also just the second time it has happened in the 2000s.
All of the pitchers on the list had two innings with six strikeouts except for Hader, who struck out the final eight batters in a 2.2-inning save on April 30, 2018.
Sunday’s outing was part of what has been a resurgent season for Bard, who lost the closer role in 2021 and ended the season with a 5.88 ERA and 1.599 WHIP. However, Bard has rebounded mightily this season in Denver, and was rewarded by the Rockies with a two-year, $19 million extension just before the MLB trade deadline.
While not much has gone right for the Colorado Rockies this season, Daniel Bard has been a bright spot and now has etched his name alongside four other relievers in a very unique category.