Daniel Bard's role with the Red Sox has been heavily debated since the decision was made to put him in the starting rotation. The right-hander proved this week that he can excel no matter when and how he's used.
Following Sunday's rainout, manager Bobby Valentine elected to skip Bard's next start. Instead, the Sox skipper called upon the big righty out of the bullpen on Monday to get Boston out of a major jam.
Bard entered a tie game in the eighth inning. The Twins were threatening to jump out in front, as they had a runner on third with only one out, but Bard ensured Minnesota was never able to push across that run.
He recorded two outs, keeping the game tied as the two teams entered the ninth inning. After Cody Ross then connected on a go-ahead blast in the top half of the frame, Alfredo Aceves picked up the save in the home half, resulting in a win for Bard.
Four days later, Bard was back on the mound. Different role, same result.
Bard got the start against the White Sox, and he tossed seven strong innings, allowing just two earned runs on six hits while striking out six. He also picked up the win as the Red Sox cruised to an impressive 10-3 victory.
It remains to be seen whether Bard will bounce around between the rotation and bullpen again this season, but if he does, we've seen that he'll be up to the challenge.
And for that versatility and his strong outings, Bard is this week's Amica Pitcher of the Week.
Photo via Flickr/duke_two