With his next save, if he gets a next save, Daniel Bard will move into sole possession of fourth place on the Colorado Rockies all-time leaderboard.

That may not sound like the grandest achievement in the history of Major League Baseball but given the context, it’s pretty impressive.

On October 4, 2022, against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Bard pitched a clean inning to secure a 5-2 win and his 34th save of the season. It capped off a tremendous campaign where he was up there with Edwin Diaz as the most dominant relievers in all of baseball.

He posted an ERA of 1.79 and an ERA+ of 260 – the second highest mark in franchise history – over 60.1 innings pitched. It was, no matter how you measure it, among the very best relief pitching seasons in franchise history.

That last save moved him into a tie with Bruce Ruffin and, believe it or not, Wade Davis for fourth place on the Rockies all-time saves list with 60.

Unfortunately for Bard and the Rockies, he had a tough spring, struggling at the World Baseball Classic before going on the IL with anxiety. He and the Rockies showed how a situation like that should be handled and he has since returned.

Since coming back, he has pitched 22.2 innings and allowed just two earned and while he has pitched in the ninth inning a couple of times, he has yet to receive another save opportunity. He has struck out 21 and walked 19 showcasing both that his dominant stuff is still there and that he’s been a little too shaky to immediately throw back into his old job.

Colorado native Pierce Johnson took over in the closer role at the beginning of the season and performed well out of the gate, especially in save opportunities where he has successfully slammed the door in his first 11 chances.

But he has struggled quite a big since and the closer role has become a bit of an open question. Manager Bud Black has indicated (and shown through how he has managed) that Justin Lawrence and Jake Bird are going to get their opportunities as well.

But it seems likely that Bard will get at least one more chance, that is, if the Rockies can actually carry a lead into the ninth inning anytime soon.

Either way and whenever it happens, if Bard can convert one more save, he moves out of a tie with Ruffin and Davis into sole possession of fourth place at which point he would be 23 shy of catching Huston Street for third.

If he can stay in a Rockies uniform for another year or go on one of the most impressive runs of all time and get 42 more saves he will tie Jose Jimenez for 2nd place and be 21 away from Brian Fuentes for the most saves in Rockies history.

Daniel Bard did not record his first save for the franchise until after his 35th birthday.   

He recorded just five saves during his time in Boston from age 24-28. He did not play in MLB from from 29-34. And now he stands within shouting distance of an all-time record. How can you not be romantic about baseball?

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