In his first start against the Seattle Mariners since his tenure in the Pacific Northwest came to an end in 2011, Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Erik Bedard showed flashes of why the Mariners originally gave up five players solely to acquire him.
He was a shell of his former self for the Mariners in comparison to the outstanding season he had for the Baltimore Orioles in 2007, but on this night in 2014, Bedard was everything the Rays needed him to be, and more. Not only did his outing squash the season-long five-game winning streak the Mariners had in progress, but it ended a 10-game losing streak for the Rays that dated back to May 26.
Bedard was efficient through six innings of work where he allowed only three singles, one double and walked one. He threw 66 of his 103 pitches for strikes, resulting in zero runs and eight strikeouts for his third quality start of the 2014 MLB season.
The Rays have had an especially rough start to the season, as manager Joe Maddon has normally been consistent in the past about keeping his team relevant into September. There is still plenty of ball to be played this year, but it helps Maddon’s confidence in his squad when a veteran journeyman like Bedard is able to give the Rays quality innings at a time when injuries (SP Matt Moore, SP Jeremy Hellickson and OF Wil Myers are all currently on the DL) and underwhelming performances from the likes of SP David Price have put the Rays “on the schneid.”
Tonight Bedard played very well, and was a big reason the Rays got “off the schneid,” potentially giving them a chance to again be relevant into September.