Erik Bedard, who’s tied with Jeremy Guthrie for most losses in the MLB, has had his share of ups and downs this season. His 12 losses, which is over 25% of the Pirates total (46), looks bad on paper, but he’s had his share of solid outings. Bedard has recently received some extra rest between starts and it seems to be helping him out.
Bedard has alway been very injury-prone, so it didn’t seem he’d be durable enough to last this long without a DL stint. When he signed, it was a matter of “when he’ll get hurt,” not “if he’ll get hurt.” However, Bedard has been able to stay pretty healthy this season, with the exception of a minor setback in May. He suffered back spasms on May 9th vs. Washington, but only needed his next start to be pushed back a few days.
He really struggled from June 14th to July 6th. In five starts during that span, Bedard went 0-5 with a 7.99 ERA. He allowed 22 runs on 32 hits in 23.2 innings, as well as an opponent batting average of .323. Many fans were calling for a replacement, such as Jeff Locke/another Indy pitcher or possibly a trade. The Bucs kept Bedard in the rotation, but gave him plenty of rest with the All-Star break. After the break, they reconfigured the rotation and he didn’t pitch for about a week and a half.
Bedard pitched exceptional in his first game of the second half; he allowed just one earned run over 6.2 innings on July 17th in Colorado. With the off day on July 19th, he received six days off instead of the usual five. He pitched tremendous at PNC vs. Chicago on July 23rd, but didn’t get any run support. In seven innings of work, he surrendered just one run on two hits, while striking out 11 and walking two, but lost 2-0. Bedard had an entire week off after being pushed back with the addition of Wandy Rodriguez, but the result wasn’t quite the same. He was rocked last Tuesday at Wrigley Field, giving up nine runs in 4.1 innings.
He was slated to pitch on Sunday at Cincinnati, but was bumped to Monday so that A.J. Burnett could start the pivotal game. The switch worked out very well for the Pirates, both Sunday and Monday. Bedard got the nod in the series opener vs. Arizona and was very impressive. He threw seven scoreless frames, and only gave up two hits. One of the hits was Paul Goldschmidt‘s liner down the line with two outs in the seventh. Goldschmidt tried for two bases but Starling Marte gunned a perfect throw to get him; Bedard’s night ended with a bang.
Bedard is a key piece of the Pirates staff and it’s important that he stays healthy. It would be huge if he can keep turning in solid outings for the rest of the year. Despite the high loss total, he’s been great at PNC. His home record (3-4) doesn’t look like much, but he holds a 2.38 ERA with a .192 opponent average and 1.06 WHIP. He’s been far worse on the road (3-8, 6.75 ERA, .307 avg, 1.76 WHIP). His one home run allowed at home vs. ten on the road shows how PNC can be very pitcher-friendly.
Kevin Correia is set to make a spot start on Wednesday, so Bedard should get an extra day of rest this week. He should be set to go on August 12th vs. San Diego. Hopefully he uses the extra day to his advantage and can come out strong on Sunday afternoon.