Pittsburgh Pirates: David Bednar Pitching Well for Team USA
Pitching for Team USA, David Bednar has allowed just one baserunner in the World Baseball Classic thus far
Saturday night Team USA picked up a dramatic, come from behind 9-7 victory over Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic. Their come back was sparked when one time Pittsburgh Pirates draft pick Trea Turner launched an 8th inning home run to turn a 7-5 deficit into a 9-7 lead.
When it comes to current Pirate players, there is only one on Team USA. That player is relief pitcher and fellow yinzer David Bednar. With Team USA preparing to for the semi-finals of the World Baseball Classic, the 2022 All-Star has pitched well out of manager Mark DeRosa's bullpen thus far.
Bednar has made three appearances for Team USA thus far. This includes allowing a solo home run in Saturday night's victory over Venezuela. That solo home run is the lone baserunner that Bednar has allowed in the WBC.
In his three outings for Team USA the righty has pitched 3.0 innings. Bednar has retired nine of the 10 batters he has faced, while recording five strikeouts.
Prior to joining Team USA for the World Baseball Classic, Bednar had pitched in three Grapefruit League games for the Pirates. In these three games he had pitched 3.0 innings, allowing just two hits. However, both of these hits were home runs leading to him allowing 3 earned runs. He had also walked a pair while striking out four.
When the regular season begins Bednar will once again be relied upon heavily by Derek Shelton. Outside of Bednar, the Pirate bullpen is essentially one giant question mark. In all honesty, it could be end up as the worst bullpen in the National League this season. There will be a lot of pressure on Bednar to step up and shoulder the load of the Bucco bullpen once again.
That said, there could be some uneasiness surrounding Bednar entering the season. There is no denying that he was overused by Shelton last season, recklessly at times. It was clear he hit a wall and ran out of gas as a result, it also led to him spending time on the injured list.
Limited to just 17 innings from June 25th until the end of the season, Bednar allowed 10 earned runs (5.29 ERA) while allowing 23 hits. He walked 10% of batters faced, and his strikeout rate dipped 10% from 36% in the first three months of the season to just 26%.