Ah, the tale of Érik Bédard (3-5, 3.12). After a promising start to his career with the Baltimore Orioles that saw him post consecutive 5 WAR seasons in his age 27 and 28 seasons led the team to trade him to the Seattle Mariners for the 2008 season. He cost a pretty penny, too, as the Orioles got George Sherrill and Chris Tillman in addition to potential superstar Adam Jones.
Since that trade, though, it has been injury after injury for Bédard. When he did pitch, he pitched well. But the injuries! They kept him from doing much of anything and degraded his value enough that the Mariners ended up trading him to the Red Sox in a three team deal last season that saw Seattle get not much of anything back.
Somehow, some way, the Pirates managed to sign Bédard in the offseason to a one year, $4.5 million contract. That is so cheap. You would think there must be a ton of performance bonuses, but there's not. He could make an extra $0.5 million. That's it! That is so cheap! I don't know if there is something I'm missing, and, of course, I wouldn't expect him to get a huge deal. But five million sawbucks is pretty much small change for someone as talented as Bédard. I wish the Brewers had signed him in the offseason.
I wish the Brewers had signed him because he has been great for Pittsburgh. The guy has a 3.12 ERA, a 3.34 FIP, and has already made 10 starts. He made fifteen apiece in 2009 and 2010. The good news is that Bédard has not been pitching deep into games. He made it seven innings just twice this year, and six innings two other times. Most of his outings have been just five innings long.
After not giving up more than two runs on any outing in 2012, Bédard had a small rough patch in mid-May. He gave up four earned runs in two consecutive starts in a total of 11 innings on May 16 and 21. His last outing, though, he allowed just two hits in six shutout innings.
Bédard throws four primary pitches: An 89 MPH two seamer (29%), a 76 MPH curveball (27%), 89 MPH two seamer (23%), 77 MPH changeup (16%).
Bédard has never faced a current Brewer at least ten times. In fact, he has only ever faced one of the Brewers at all. In six plate appearances, Carlos Gomez has hit for a .600/.667/1.000 line against Bédard.
For the Brewers, Shaun Marcum (3-3, 3.63) will be taking the mound. Marcum is off to another nice start, with a 3.53 FIP to go with his ERA. It's not quite as good as the beginning to his 2011, but I'll definitely take it. Marcum has had an uptick in strikeouts this season, with his 8.42 K/9 a full strikeout more than his career numbers. His BB/9 has also gone up to 3.05, after a career number of 2.76, and a 2.56 BB/9 last season.
Marcum followed up his worst start of the season (six earned runs in six innings against the Giants on May 22) with one of his best. Against the Dodgers, Marcum allowed just one run on six hits in seven innings. He also struck out nine hitters while walking two. That was the most strikeouts he has ever had as a Brewer, and the most since July 30, 2010, when he sat ten Toronto Blue Jays down.
Marcum has faced three current Pirates at least ten times. Here is how they have fared:
I have yet to see the lineup as of this writing. If you have, feel free to share in the comments.
In the Bullpen:
Tim Dillard pitched .2 innings (8 pitches) Thursday and 2 innings (44 pitches) last night.
Juan Perez pitched 1 inning
Jose Veras pitched an inning (15 pitches) Thursday.
Kameron Loe pitched an inning (9 pitches) Thursday.
Manny Parra pitched .1 innings (6 pitches) Thursday.
John Axford pitched an inning (18 pitches) on Wednesday.
Francisco Rodriguez pitched an inning (10 pitches) on Wednesday.