When the Pittsburgh Pirates need a foot placed on the throat of an opponent this year, Erik Bedard has been the man to do the job. We see that continuing tonight.
In his past six starts, Bedard has went at least five and not allowed more than two runs. The monument should be going up any day now on the North Shore.
The 31-year old has been a major upgrade to the Pirates rotation this season. The Bucs left hander has put together three straight high strikeout performances for the black and gold. He has received two runs of support from his teammates in his last four starts, he has won the last two.
Bedard punched out eleven St. Louis Cardinals on May 3rd, he got nine Braves in just five innings on April 28, and back on April 22 he struck out seven Cards over seven innings.
Look for more of the same tonight from Bedard.
His mound opponent is a surprising lefty in Ross Detwiler. His sparkling 1.59 ERA is the first thing you notice, but he has been able to post it by getting the opposition to hit the ball on the ground nearly 60 percent of the time. In his first 16 innings pitched this season, he allowed just one earned run.
But let’s get this right, he is the Nats fifth starter. The sixth overall pick in 2007 earned the job in spring training. He was rushed to the bigs by the Nats after being drafted. He seemed destined for the bullpen this season even after overcoming hip labrum surgery in 2010 to bounce back last year and look solid in ten starts.
But the left handers spring performance sent $5 million dollar man John Lannan to the minors, and it was thought Detwiler would hold down the fifth starter spot until Chien-Ming Wang returns from injury.
He’s done a bit more than that.
So the overachieving Detwiler is due for a knock around by an overdue Buccos offense tonight. Detwiler relies on a fastball that can reach 96, but sits around 91-92. He mixes in a solid curve, slider and change that he has been able to baffle NL lineups with thus far.
It just seems fitting for it to happen, especially if the Bucs want to win the series as Stephen Strasburg looms for tomorrow night.
Last Thursday, the 26-year old Detwiler fired a three hitter over 6.1 innings giving him the seventh-best ERA (1.59) in the majors. He has given up just five earned runs in 28.1 innings pitched, going at least five in all five starts.
The Pirates should be able to hit him, it’s just getting the ball in the air that’s the hard part. He has just 21 punchouts to go with nine walks.
We will be traveling to DC and will miss the live action, so keep us up to date on Twitter. Especially if Pedro turns around one of those fastballs….