Let’s go back to that Padres game where Bard gave up the tying homer in the ninth. The home run was the focus of the frame, obviously, but the hits that eventually brought the tying run to the plate (and the frustrating nature in which they occurred) are easily overlooked.
Here is the infield single from Jake Cronenworth that opened the inning.
And here is the following infield single off the bat of Austin Nola
“Yeah, I was as frustrated as anybody,” Bard said about those two singles to open the ninth. “I was mad at the result but, in the moment, I felt like I was making good pitches. I knew that was soft contact on balls that stayed in in the infield.”
And the pitch that was sent out by Grisham.
“The pitch to Grisham was a well executed backdoor slider that he just took a really good swing at,” Bard said. “In hindsight, would I have thrown a different pitch? Of course. But, in that moment, it seemed like a really good pitch to execute.”
And while decisions are made in the moment and plays often happen at lightning speed, they can live on forever through GIFs, instant replay, and quote tweets. It’s part of the current game, Bard says, and it’s a part that doesn’t faze him, just like the comments, good and bad, he’ll see after every outing.
“You try to be as realistic as you can and not just say, ‘Oh I suck,'” Bard said. “Are you falling behind every hitter? No, not really. You can’t live too long on any moment. Find the mistake and move on.”