Bard rights himself after shaky beginning

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- When Daniel Bard started Sunday's relief outing with three straight high fastballs for a 3-0 count, you might have wondered if he was in for a tough outing.

It was a natural reaction, given all of Bard's inconsistency last season. However, Bard continues to show that he could be on the verge of getting his groove back.

He quickly reset himself during Sunday's outing and wound up pitching a scoreless inning and facing just three batters, striking out one.

"I felt my lower half was rushing a little bit," Bard said. "I got loose out in the 'pen and stood there for about 15 minutes waiting for us to get an out. It happens. It's happened before and it will happen again. Especially in a Spring Training setting, you don't want to wear yourself out trying to stay loose out there. You get your five [warmups] on the field, but sometimes it's not enough to find your release point. I was able to make an adjustment and slow things down a little bit."

Manager John Farrell seems enthused by Bard's progress.

"Once again, he repeated the delivery mechanics that he's been working on. His fastball is more true and he's staying behind the ball more consistently. Another positive day for him," Farrell said.

Ian Browne is a reporter for Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.