By no means has Erik Bedard been dominant during his first two starts in a Red Sox jersey, but he’s certainly shown signs that the Sox took a calculated risk in acquiring the lefty at the trade deadline.
Bedard has pitched just five innings in each outing, allowing a total of 10 hits and five earned runs. He’s walked four in that span (all in his last outing in Minnesota on Tuesday) and struck out 11.
Those 10 innings represent Bedard’s only action since he returned from a knee injury which put him on the shelf for roughly a month. He was only able to throw a total of 160 pitches in the two outings, but the stuff is certainly there.
One could make a strong case that Bedard was squeezed in Tuesday’s start against the Twins (then again, so was Minnesota starter Francisco Liriano), but the southpaw battled and kept Boston in a game that it would eventually win 4-3.
Bedard’s next two starts figure to come against Tampa Bay (August 16th) and Kansas City (August 21st) , and he should be able to reach the 100-pitch mark in one or both of those outings.
The Sox are hoping that, by that point, Bedard will have reestablished some of the form that made him one of the best starters in the American League earlier this season for a two-month stretch.
Boston is in a comfortable spot in the standings, so from that standpoint, it doesn’t need Bedard to be electric down the stretch. The organization also didn’t appear to relinquish much in the way of top tier prospects to acquire him from Seattle nearly two weeks ago.
However, the goal in dealing for the oft-injured pitcher was to find a capable third starter for the playoffs should Clay Buchholz’s ailing back keep him off the mound.
Bedard has revealed the potential that he can be that guy, but Red Sox Nation has yet to see the lefty put it all together.
In playing for the Orioles and Mariners for his entire career, Bedard never pitched in a meaningful game in October. Over the next few weeks, Bedard will have the chance to prove that he’s worthy of that opportunity for the Red Sox.
Alastair Ingram is the featured Boston Red Sox columnist for RantSports.com. For daily updates, follow him on Twitter at @AlastairIngram, follow the blog at @FenwayReport, and join the fan page on Facebook.