14 In a Row

=== John Benson Dept. ===

So Bedard has now started 14 games and allowed more than 3 runs in ... 0 of them.

Benson's paradigm is to compare a set of (say) 10 starting pitchers by asking, "What was the WORST recent year each pitcher had?"  The pitcher with the best WORST year :- ) may be the toughest pitcher, and the best bet.

NObody is a tough matchup EVERY start.  Except Bedard, I guess.

Jarrod Washburn, who is #5 in ERA in the American League, has given up 6 earnies on two different occasions and 4 earnies on three other occasions.   The next time Bedard gives up 4 earnies will be his first.

I don't say that makes Bedard worth more than Washburn.  It's something to keep in perspective:  Erik Bedard is a tough day's work for a hitter.


=== Five and Dive Dept. ===

Seattle fans and writers are infuriated by Bedard's short starts, but Bedard is NOT historically a short-start pitcher.

Bedard averages 100.4 pitches per start over his career, and 98.5 this season (even with the past few "recovery" starts).

Jarrod Washburn has averaged 101 pitches per start in four years with the Seattle Mariners, and 100.2 this season.

It's much ado about nothing, the so-called difference in stamina between Bedard and some other ML starter.   They all go about 100 pitches.  A "workhorse" might, or might not, in a good YEAR average 6.5 innings and a "five-and-diver" 5.9 innings.

Erik Bedard has averaged 5.85 innings per start in his career, Washburn 6.14.  That's less than one extra out per game.   I don't think we need to go all maudlin about the stamina difference, especially since Bedard's innings are great and other guys' are not.


True, Bedard has left some games early this season.  IMHO, he's gotten squeezed by the umps several times, and he's been a little wild a few times, and he's been coming off the DL a few times.  He's been laboring since he came off the DL, no doubts there.

But check his game logs again:  he has gone into the 7th, 8th, or 9th half the time.  The April-early May string is more the usual result for Bedard.


As with Branyan's recent "slump", a convergence of weird stuff has made things look worse than they are.  For example, check the GameDay on Sunday vs Cleveland -- 2nd inning walk to Peralta, 7 pitches, 2-run homer to follow, 28-pitch inning.  The walk to Peralta, just about any one of those 7 pitches could have been called strikes.  

Bedard is missing just off the plate, and not getting a whale of a lot of calls, especially on his curve.  That's life, but Erikkkkk is hardly Daniel Cabrera out there.   He's negotiating with the umps and winding up going overtime in the meeting room lately.

In Sunday's game, Bedard threw 61 strikes and 32 balls, had Jose Lopez boot the last out of the fifth inning, had the third baseman miss a fairly easy play ... it looked like he got knocked out of the box in 4.2 but, hey.  The Indians were swatting mosquitoes with willow switches and the Mariners won the game.


The last month or two it's been kind of maddening, the walks and the pitch counts, but don't overblow it.  Under normal circumstances, Bedard will get into the 7th and 8th most of the time.


=== Balm of Gilead Dept. ===

Bedard's FB velo is 91.4 this season, as strong as it's ever been, and his K rate is 9.3 -- the second-highest of his CAREER and by a long way over whatever his 3rd-best season.

Go to fangraphs.com > pitchers > AL > advanced > sort by K/9.

1 Verlander 10.8

2 Lester 10.3

3 Bedard 9.3

4 Grienke 9.1

5 Felix 8.8

6 Liriano 8.2

7 Beckett 8.2

8 Burnett 8.1

9 Garza 7.9

In other words, there are only eight starters in the league fanning 8 men per game -- and only 14 (one per team) getting over 6.9 per game.  And Bedard's getting 9.3.


=== My Blue Heaven ===

My favorite moment in a Steve Martin movie:  the DA asks whether Martin's mob henchman had been paid to testify?  "Yep.  And that ain't all I get.  I get to never see my friends again... I get to run from the mob all my life... [etc] ... so if you're sayin' I'm only testifyin' because I'm gettin' paid, you got a point.  But it's still the truth."

I'm only typin' cause I'm a huge Erikkkkk fan.  You got a point.  But it's still the truth.

It's been a little frustrating, the pitch counts and DL and umping, but it's nothing that will persist long-term. 

Look past the cliches about workhorses, and bask in the talent.  :- )  The lockdowns into the 7th and 8th innings are coming shortly.


Dr D


misterjonez's picture

I'm not the only one who's on this side of the fence.  I can't help but roll my eyes whenever I hear Pittman(sp?) on the post-game show railing about how Bedard "is a decent pitcher, but CERTAINLY no Jarrod Washburn!"
Give me 5 IP of Bedard over 7 IP of Ryan Franklin (the starter, not the closer) any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

Enri's picture

Generally, I'm entirely with you, Doc, on the value of Erikkkk. I still fantasize about Felix-Erik winning postseason series for us this year.
But in all fairness, isn't it time for you to own up to the fact that Bedard is more fragile than average. Your long time contention that he pitches if it matters, and babies himself only if the season is lost, seems to have been disproven by the timing of his latest trip to the DL.
How would you know you were wrong on Bedard's health forecast?


Long lost from posts in the past is the discusssion about how the M's should be ran more like the Indians. What have the Indians done to remove themselves as poster boys as the way to run a franchise? Feel free to remove this comment since it is off topic.


Would be if a noted orthopedic surgeon ran a series of non-invasive tests and pronounced that Bedard's arm was less than 100%.
How would you know if you were worrying too much?  ;- )


From where I sit, nothing's off topic and nothing gets removed (for intellectual content), amigo.  This is America.  :- )
Haven't thought much about the Indians since the John Hart era.  But maybe we'll get a thread going on that...  in the meantime, feel free to first service and we'll cut-and-paste ...

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