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Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.

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July 4, 2008 5:49 PM

Green, Lopez key victory

Posted by Geoff Baker

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Some ninth inning fireworks as Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez is thrown out of the game after arguing about a leadoff at-bat in which Brandon Morrow struck him out. Rodriguez had to be restrained from going after umpire Brian Knight.

A big day for both Sean Green and Jose Lopez in a 4-1 win by the M's over the Detroit Tigers. Seattle looked a lot more in this game, on both the mound and in the field, than it did on Thursday night. Erik Bedard held the Tigers to a run over five innings before Green came in a tossed 2 2/3 scoreless frames with his team clinging to a 2-1 lead at the time.

Morrow notched the final out of the eighth and went on to record the four-out save.

But in between his first out and the final three in the ninth, Lopez came up big. With runners at first and second, he drove a ball to the gap in right center off Kenny Rogers -- only the sixth hit of the day by Seattle -- to bring home a pair of huge runs. Lopez also came up big defensively in the top of the eighth, holding his ground at second in turning a 5-4-3 double-play after a leadoff single by Miguel Cabrera.

On the double-play ball by Marcus Thames, Cabrera came in hard at second. Lopez had to twist acrobatically out of the way. But he did and got the throw off in time to first base.

"I didn't even think about it with that play,'' Lopez said. "I caught the ball, heard the runner close to me and knew I had to jump. You need to make one out first on that play. Especially leading by one run. I heard the runner close and needed to jump on that one, or I'd get killed.''

Lopez appeared to surprise himself in actually pulling off the leap-and-throw.

"It was my first time,'' he said. "I never practiced it. It's just instinct. You catch the ball and try jumping and making a good throw.''

As I said, a much better game for the M's all-around. They are 9-5 under Jim Riggleman.

Erik Bedard dressed quickly and sped out of the clubhouse without talking to reporters. Riggleman and Jamie Burke did his talking for him yet again.

Riggleman thought Berdard did a good job.

"Erik did a great job,'' Riggleman said. "That's a heckuva ballclub over there and they make you throw a lot of pitches. He was throwing so many pitches that were very close and -- rightfully so -- they were balls. But most teams would have taken a cut at some of those pitches, which would have kept his pitch count down. They just forced him into a very laboring five innings and they did a good job.''

I agree with him on most of that. The issue isn't the work he did on the scoreboard. He allowed just the one run. It's the longevity. This team didn't trade away five guys for a pitcher who needs his bullpen to hold off the Tigers for four innings.

Burke thought Bedard was missing his spots at times rather than the Tigers merely not swinging. Has also noticed that Bedard simply gets tired as his pitch count climbs towards 100.

"Once he gets that 90 pitches, 95, you can tell he gets a little bit tired and starts cutting the ball off a bit too much,'' Burke said. "You can just see it on the way the ball comes in on the plate. You can just tell he's starting to get tired.''

Riggleman said he didn't want Bedard going back out in the sixth with those big sluggers due up. Can't blame him. He made the right call.

Thing is, this is now what the team has. A five or six inning pitcher who can hold teams to a run or two. In case you hadn't noticed, that's what Jarrod Washburn has done lately.

So, to the reader who wrote in below, asking my take on Bedard as an alternative to C.C. Sabathia, I'd say it's a rather poor second place. Sabathia logged well over 200 innings last year. Bedard is on pace to throw about 153 innings. He hasn't gone seven in a game since May 28. He's a poor man's Sabathia right now. Cheaper than Sabathia, granted, but giving far less on the mound.

Seriously, there's a better comparison to be made between Washburn and Bedard, at least over the past month. Bedard had a devastating curveball today, I'll give him that. But if he can only use it for five or six innings, you'd almost rather he abandon the strikeout approach and pitch to more contact. That's my take. I think teams will take a cautious app[roach towards trading for him. But all it takes is one rogue willing to gamble, We'll see. Remember, he's under club control through next year. That's attractive.

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Posted by Chris from Bothell

3:56 PM, Jul 04, 2008

Does Bedard melt, or turn into a pumpkin, or something if he pitches that 101st pitch? Sheesh.

Posted by M's_Fan

4:09 PM, Jul 04, 2008

Thank god the M's started playin good baseball. I don't know what I'd do if they were still playin like crap and having to deal with the Sonics leaving.
Thank you M's for pulling your heads out of your rear ends and giving us something to cheer for.

Posted by Ziasudra

4:29 PM, Jul 04, 2008

Rodriquez was outta line - all those pitches were strikes. His pitcher had been getting calls outside the box; why should he complain about legitimate strikes?

Posted by Miles

4:29 PM, Jul 04, 2008

Geoff,

Back on June 29th you downplayed the sweep of the Padres by saying "it gets tougher from here." If the M's win tomorrow, they will have taken 4/6 from the Jays and TIgers. And they've done it with several players still struggling to contribute, notably Sexson and VIdro.

I think it's time to admit that the Riggleman move might have been a smart move. The M's aren't going to compete for a playoff spot, but I'm not going to be surprised if they play .500 ball the rest of the way.

Posted by skinnyfelix

4:38 PM, Jul 04, 2008

Geoff:
Could you find out who is making the decisions regarding Bedard's early exits? Is he taking himself out? Can't the manager or his coaches extend him? Who's in charge with this guy? If he doesn't want to stay in and pitch, too bad. He's part of the team.

Posted by Bums

4:49 PM, Jul 04, 2008

Definitely a different team under Riggelman.

The funnest part of this season for me is Morrow continuing his dominance. A 0.67 ERA at this point is amazing. At this rate is there any way he should be left off the All-Star team?

Posted by wag the dog

4:52 PM, Jul 04, 2008

It's nice that they've turned it around a bit, but I still don't see this as a team built for the long haul. Maybe in spurts, but over a full season and against top competition? Not really. The Mariners still lack depth, pitching, power and leadership.

Last year the team played above it's head for a while and even though it crashed hard toward the end of the season we convinced ourselves they were close to contending.

Maybe some of this can be contributed to McLaren as the Mariners won more with Hargrove and are winning more with Riggleman, but if this group of players can't put forth a professional effort as a matter of pride and instead need their manager to motivate them, that doesn't tell me they have the grit and determination needed to win consistently over the course of a season.

To me, one of the worst things that could come of this season is to be lulled into a sense that things are better than they are. This is still a team that that's 20 games under .500 and has lost 2 out of every three games over the course of three months.

Something needs to change.

Posted by ChicoV

4:53 PM, Jul 04, 2008

sweet, but too freakin late

Posted by Ms Fan in Exile

4:59 PM, Jul 04, 2008

Geoff,
You noted that the Brewers Scouts were in attendance. What are your thoughts on the possibility of the Brew Crew offering us a similar package for Bedard that they are offering to Cleveland for Sabathia? I have heard that the Brewers are dangling Matt Laporta for Sabathia. Do you think we could possibly get Laporta and a pitcher or two for Bedard from them?

Posted by B'Ham

5:10 PM, Jul 04, 2008

I noticed bedard arrived about 10 minutes before the gates opened at safeco today. I was wondering if this was normal for him on days that he starts?

Posted by kaseyswagger

5:14 PM, Jul 04, 2008

I think that its safe to say Rigglemen is doing a better job then Mclaren ever did.I dont find myself saying why in the world would you do that with Rigglemen at the helm and he has the team playing classic Mariner baseball.Get good pitching, steal bases,move runners over, and get timely hits then close it out with a shut down bullpen.

Posted by plummetdown

5:32 PM, Jul 04, 2008

what to do with morrow when j.j puts comes back?

Posted by Nat

5:35 PM, Jul 04, 2008

I wasn't able to watch the last half of the game, so it's good to find the M's could and did come back and win it! I would say out of 4 wins from the Tigers would be alright with me, Geoff. While the M's have nothing left to compete for they have everything to prove to themselves.

Posted by Top pick in 09 draft

5:38 PM, Jul 04, 2008

Outside of Raul's jack, the M's won this game today by playing classic small ball - something Riggleman is doing that Mac could never get the guys to buy into. Team really is pretty powerless so they need to manufacture runs rather than playing for the long-ball. Morrow looks to be the find of the year as a lights-out closer and when Fields comes up, JJ is definitely a good trading chip. JJ's best days are probably behind him at age 32 however if healthy, he could still get a good return in prospects from some contender in need of a decent closer. JJ's salary is still relatively low and he is signed for the next couple of seasons so he should be an attractive trading chip.

Posted by DustininCorvallis

5:40 PM, Jul 04, 2008

TRADE BEDARD ASAP! He obviously could have a lot of value to a contending team and HIS POOR ATTITUDE IS GETTING OLD!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Andrew

5:40 PM, Jul 04, 2008

Yeah seriously, Geoff says the Tigers are the only good team we've played under Riggleman but the Blue Jays and Mets, while not great are both at 500 and the Mets are maybe just under the Tigers in terms of potential. Don't down play winning two series and sweeping another. We got swept by the Nationals three weeks ago for cryin out loud.

Posted by Nat

5:42 PM, Jul 04, 2008

kaseyswagger- yeah, they are winning under him, so I know what you're saying, but what about the fact that Riggleman continues to put Vidro in the cleanup spot (no, not today) and Sexson in the lineup at all?????

Until Riggleman provides a rational that makes sense, I, for one, will not be rooting for him to stay around next year.

Posted by Nat

5:49 PM, Jul 04, 2008

Geoff, I meant to say 2 out of 4 wins from the Tigers would be okay with me. You said you wouldn't think they were 'cured' unless they won 3 out of 4?

Anytime a team can come back in the season after such a great fall and split a series against the Tigers - who are playing good baseball now - I would saythat was pretty good. After all, we're not exactly contenders anymore.

Posted by Miles

6:40 PM, Jul 04, 2008

Nat,

Who says it's Riggleman's choice to keep trotting out Sexson and Vidro? The rationale we keep hearing is that they are hoping those two play better so the team can get something in return and not just have to dump them. If that's the case, that's probably a decision that was made by the people above Riggleman.

If they keep them around and playing after the trading deadline, then that's something different. Until then, I'm willing to give Riggleman the benefit of the doubt on this.

Posted by Capo

7:17 PM, Jul 04, 2008

At what point do the kid gloves come off? At what point do they stop cauddling Bedard and just tell him to man up?

Seriously, its just another example of a poorly run team....we have players telling management who will be their personal catcher, we have players who quit after 100 pitches, players who disappear into the clubhouse during games.

At some point, management has to take the leadership role......because this atmosphere is part of what breeds the loser mentality....Besides not having any players who display leadership qualities, the management teams lacks the nutz to do anything.


someone needs to explain to Bedard the fact that there is no 100 pitch limit in his contract, as well as the fact he needs to work a little faster (Seriously, he puts the players behind him to sleep when he is on the mound)....and finally, someone needs to explain to him that the bullpen can't support four 5 inning pitchers and Felix.

Posted by Dave from the coast

7:24 PM, Jul 04, 2008

Bedard did a good job today, and maybe it was smart to take him out rather than have him face the lineup one more time, especially since he doesn't throw the ball all that hard. At the same time, he sorta has a way of evaporating after 100 pitches. Now if we could just get Batista to do that on a regular basis. So, it's all relative. All things considered, another good win. I just had a thot...maybe Bedard turns into a Pumpkin after 100 pitches. That sounds as logical as anything else.

Posted by tree killer

7:25 PM, Jul 04, 2008

Who gives a Rats ass if talks to reporters or not. After what you have reported om him your probably luckey he ignores you . Did you ever think possibly the 100 pitch limit just might have something to do with the "hip" injurey earlier in the year. I,ll take 5 good innings and ignore you but allas in your pearls of wisdom he should be traded. I guess if he sat down and gave you an exclusive you would probably roll over. 5 innings was enough for the win agains't a team with damn good bats. Take your "cheese head reporting back north" and those of us who truley understand an AMERICAN GAME will be far better off.

Posted by khardy

7:37 PM, Jul 04, 2008

hahaha tree killer. you make me laugh. thanks.

Posted by Tom

7:44 PM, Jul 04, 2008

Geoff, thanks for the great blogging, as always. We miss you when you're not here, but I suppose you need time off work like everyone else.

Any chance you could include post-game audio comments on a more consistent basis? I'm especially interested in the manager's comments, but the players' would be good as well. Thank you.

Posted by khardy

8:01 PM, Jul 04, 2008

Hey Geoff,

Have you given any thought to the fact that Bedard knows that his future isn't with the mariners, so he doesnt want to risk injury, and the mariners FO/coaching staff begrudgingly goes along with it because the only thing worse, trade value wise, than a 100 pitch bedard is bedard on the DL?

You don't get to the bigs without being a competitor. There is no way he'd only go 100 pitches in a playoff race. I refuse to believ he'd do that. Besides this isn't something he's been doing his entire career. He wouldnt have had so much sucess if teams knew that they could just work the count and get him out by the
fifth inning. also, while inept, the mariners would have know about a 100 pitch limit before they traded for him if it has been something he always done.

So this is new, its because the mariners suck and he doesnt want to blow out the money maker for a team that has nothing to play for and nothing to offer him in the future. We all know he's not going to resign with the m's.

I don't think this hurts his trade value as much as people think because I assume that other teams know this, and at the very least this would be the story the m's front office would be spinning.

Bedard is still an ass though.

Posted by earinc

9:03 PM, Jul 04, 2008

Geoff, I'm a first-time poster but a longtime reader, and something occurred to me just now as I was reading the latest post, with the requisite press box shot of the diamond. To be honest, I rarely really look at these pics, framed exactly the same way from your perch behind home plate, day after day. I just kind of take them for granted at the top of each post every day before diving into the writing. But it occurred to me what they lack in individual potency they might make up for as a series. At the end of the season, you should take all of these shots and dump them into a slideshow, spread out at about a half-second each. You'd have a curious and artsy little recap of the season. My two cents.

Posted by reality

9:08 PM, Jul 04, 2008

I disagree that Bedard hasn't been doing this his whole career. He has never thrown 200 innings in a season. The guy would consistently give up when he was pitching in Baltimore if things weren't going his way, or if he wasn't getting run support.

Posted by nick

9:41 PM, Jul 04, 2008

ERICA is worse than SHAWNA on the hawks. I would even support cutting him outright!!!! He is awful and his 100 pitch count is dumb!! NEver see guys like j-wash or silvdawg come out early as they are warriors

Posted by Nat

10:01 PM, Jul 04, 2008

Miles: Ya, it's also occurred to me that Riggleman has been told he needs to play those two bums just in case some totally dumb scouts see either one and goes gaga over him.

And it's also true I'm sort of waffling on Riggleman because even though I can see a difference in the way the team is playing now I still don't understand why any baseball manager would put Vidro at CLEANUP! Rallykiller! He doesn't have much to offer anymore batting 4th. Haven't you noticed?

Posted by wag the dog

10:16 PM, Jul 04, 2008

Yeah, J-Wash and Silvdawg just get pulled for ineffectiveness. That's way better.

Also, you're kinda insulting all women by suggesting Bedard and Alexander are women due to their lack toughness. Pretty sure most women could out-tough either of these guys. Childbirth alone - you don't get to call for a reliever after 5 pushes.

Posted by given up

10:47 PM, Jul 04, 2008

why is bedard such a girl? to the point where his own teammates are watching his pitch count... i can't believe management thought he was worthy of the ace status...

Posted by shosports

11:07 PM, Jul 04, 2008

Don't lump Alexander in with Bedard. The only thing that Bedard has done is hurt himself trying to tie his shoes.

At least with Alexander, he provided an MVP, trip to the Super Bowl, and some of the best running in the backfield the Seahawks have seen in the past decade.

Bedard is only doing this to pitch his way out of town and once he's gone, the team will be better off without him.

Posted by NB

11:23 PM, Jul 04, 2008

I was at the game today, right behind home. Bedard pitched ok. He's been pretty good this year. I feel very confident that if he had Jay Buhner's personality or played at South Kitsap High School far fewer people would have an issue with him.

But whatever, since when did looking at results matter more than whether or not someone pretends to tolerate your lame ass questions every five days?

Posted by OleJoe

11:25 PM, Jul 04, 2008

Erik Bedard pitched five innings and left the game with his team ahead. His team won. Seems like he did a good job to me.

Posted by scrapiron

11:40 PM, Jul 04, 2008

Buster Olney spoke about Bedard on Baseball Tonight this evening. He said everyone in the league has noticed that his stuff dramatically changes when he hits 90 pitches and the hitters around the league are taking a lot of pitches to wait him out. So you're going to see a lot of 5 inning outings from now on then.

Also, he said several GMs around the league have been told by Pelekoudas that he "isn't ready" to start talking about trading Bedard yet.

Posted by doug

1:06 AM, Jul 05, 2008

shawna is a bitch too, goes down if anyone looks at him. i have alabama friends who HATE him because he is as big of a vag as ERICA

Posted by AtomicGarden

1:11 AM, Jul 05, 2008

I'd really like Bedard to pitch more than 5-6 innings per start. But ya know what? If he isn't effective after 100 pitches, then I'd rather he be taken out. It sucks because we traded our farm system for him, but I hate the "Washburn and Silva are warriors, because they'll keep pitching ineffectively until they're forced out of the game".

Sure, throw 120 pitches a game and put yourself at risk for a serious injury and/or sucking for the last inning if that makes you feel better about the trade. I'll take six good innings.

On another note, Morrow isn't an all-star because he hasn't racked up those all-so-important saves. It doesn't matter that he's been one of the most dominant relievers in the game this season (if not THE most - you could argue that). Saves are a stupid stat, but whatever.

Posted by David

1:25 AM, Jul 05, 2008

I agree Atomic Garden. That's what I've been saying all along. I would much rather have Bedard give us 100 quality pitches than have Silva give us 120 ok/bad ones. Everybody is convinced that we'd get some sort of truck load for him. We wouldn't. I say keep him. But just know after 100 pitches you bring in green or lowe for 1 or 2 innings. Why not, if it gets it done! Its not how its done normally, but I'd do it for the great three punch rotation; Felix, Bedard, Morrow! Sick!! Add a few consistent hitters...and you've got a serious chance at making the playoffs!

Posted by scottM

3:49 AM, Jul 05, 2008

from David: "Everybody is convinced that we'd get some sort of truck load for [Bedard]. We wouldn't. I say keep him."

1. The M's don't know who they might get for Bedard.
2. Bedard is not to blame for the Bedard trade.
3. Bedard never once said, "I am the ACE of this team." More often, pre-season, the M's were seen as having two potential "ACES." Half-way through the season report cards: Felix has pitched like a #2 SP, Bedard like a #3 SP, Silva and Washburn like #5 pitchers, Batista like HoRam last year.
3. Even with going on the DL, and not going deep into games, Erik Bedard has been the second best starting pitcher on this team. Over the course of the season, the difference between Bedard and the next worst starter isn't even close.
4. Bedard's attitude toward the press is caustic and immature. However, with the team GM and Manager now fired, and Bedard's name prominently mentioned for trade, how can you blame the guy for not wanting to field inane questions about how he feels regarding the prospect of being traded, why he doesn't go further into games, etc. Bavasi (somewhat justifiably) took a big shot at Bedard on his way out the door for being an ass to the press; Bedard has ZERO control over whether or not he's traded and to whom for what players. Whether the public believes him about his health or ability to pitch deep in games is nothing he can change.
5. Trading Bedard just to trade him because of what Bavasi did or didn't do in the last trade is absurd.
6. There is NO indication that Bedard is a clubhouse cancer, despite his lack of popularity here with the Seattle press and frustrated M's fans.
7. Nothing wrong with shopping Bedard, but what are the strategic goals relative to such a trade. Without a General Managing philosophy in place, how can this team have a strategic plan in regards to any major trades?
8. I agree with Dave. Keep Bedard for '09, (unless the return warrants a trade by bringing back key pieces).

Posted by Bob

6:38 AM, Jul 05, 2008

I still think Geoff is beating on Bedard more than is warranted by his performance. Certainly, any team wants innings out of their starters. A team also wants a starter that does not give up runs. The best of both worlds is a starter like Halladay, but there is only of him these days, and not that many very close.

In 2008, Erikís walks per inning have been higher than any of the years from 2005-7 with Baltimore, and his strikeout ratio is much lower than what he had in 2007. Compared to those years, he is struggling with his pitching. In place of, or at least in addition to, the opinions that heís a weenie, we got gypped, heís offensive by his silence (yes, we get it, sigh), should be the question of why the comparative difference? Even with the struggles, lack of innings and pitch count, and not as hyped, I think he has been a good pitcher for the Ms.

There is a definite relationship between Ms wins and a starterís game ERA, regardless of the number of innings pitched. The Ms have won only 4 of 40 games when the starterís ERA for the game was above 4.50 (6 innings with 3 ER is a 4.50 ERA), 11 of 21 games with an ERA between 2.50 and 4.50, and 19 of 26 games when the ERA was below 2.50.

Bedard has the most (9) and highest percentage (60 percent) of starts with an ERA below 2.50. Batista with 11 and Silva with 10 have the most starts with an ERA above 4.50, followed by Wasburn with 6, Hernadez with 5, and Bedard last with 3. Most games, Bedard has been giving the Ms a good chance to win.

It is such a fine line at the professional level of play. Itís not like heís lost control, like Batista, or has been grooving pitches to hitters, like Silva. And why just pick on Bedard? Take away Silvaís great first 6 games, and heís averaged 5.2 innings per start. Batista has averaged 4.5 innings over his last 5 starts, Dickey 4.8 over his last 4 starts. Wasburn averaged 6.3 innings over his last 5 starts, with a 2.30 ERA, and thatís somehow mediocre? Do that for an entire season and the big bucks start rolling in.

This has been a difficult season for the entire team, and likely for Bedard personally. Bedard has not been an ace this year, but if he can regain the edge he had last year, with a decrease in walks and an increase in strikeouts, the pitch count will extend to more innings and he would be there. Maybe he wonít, but I see what Burke and Riggleman described, a pitcher who is not missing by much.

Posted by eastcoast

6:59 AM, Jul 05, 2008

It's really nice to watch the M's finally play some good baseball. But a couple of things to note.

1. Is Bedard's velocity down? Seems to me, he routinely hit 93-94mph with his fastball when with the O's. Yesterday, he was at or around 90 - occ 88. And every time he needed a big pitch, he went with his breaking stuff. Coupled with his attitude and lack of longevity, this will make it difficult to get more than 2-3 mediocre prospects for him.

2. Has Ichiro completely forgotten how to drive a ball to the outfield? It seems every time he is at the plate, he's hitting a weak 2 or 3 hopper to 2B or SS. I would be curious to see how many DP's he has hit into this yr compared to previous years.

Posted by Joke

7:25 AM, Jul 05, 2008

Wish I could get paid for only working half a day. Is Bedard a wimp or what?? And then he shows how gutless he really is as he dresses and leaves the locker room. I mean what is up with this guy? What a waste of a trade. Too bad they can't just leave him out there and say Sorry you have wasted the bullpen and you are on your own.

Posted by Bob

8:37 AM, Jul 05, 2008

reality posted:

ďI disagree that Bedard hasn't been doing this his whole career. He has never thrown 200 innings in a season. The guy would consistently give up when he was pitching in Baltimore if things weren't going his way, or if he wasn't getting run support.Ē

So I took a look to see what Bedard did in his games in 2007.

22 of 28 games with 100 or more pitches, 109 average for those games.
10 of 28 games with 110 or more pitches.
1 game with 120 pitches.

Two shortest outings were both 4 and two-thirds innings, 80 and 96 pitches, giving up 5 and 6 earned runs. I would think he was pulled.

In games where Baltimore scored 4 or less runs, he averaged 6.7 innings.
In games Baltimore scored 5 or more runs, he averaged 6.3 innings.
Overall, 6.5 innings per start.

Sorry, reality, but I just donít see it here, except the 200 innings.

And these numbers also make it harder to believe he is just wimping out, rather than some other reason.

Posted by wag the dog

9:50 AM, Jul 05, 2008

How many quality starts has Bedard had this season? I can't remember the last time he pitched through the seventh.

Maybe it's injury. Maybe it's his endurance. Maybe he doesn't want to risk injury playing for a team going nowhere with his FA year coming up. Maybe he thinks it's pointless to push himself with the team 20 games under .500. Maybe it's a little bit of everything. Bedard has no loyalty to the Mariners. Why should he?

But when a team gives up a good chunk of it's farm system for you, even though it's not your fault they did it, you have to understand the expectations that are going to follow you. Maybe you can get away with being a bad teammate if you're putting up dominant numbers, but 5 innings a start is hardly dominant. Bedard's attitude seems to stink. Had didn't ask for the trade or the expectations that came with it, but he does have a choice in how he responds.

Silva and Washburn are less effective, but there's also something to be said for starters who can take a bit of the load off the bullpen. If every Mariner starter went only 5 innings, the bullpen would be friend within a few weeks.

Posted by Lancaster Dave

9:54 AM, Jul 05, 2008

I still say trade the soft Bedard prior to the trading deadline to start to restructure this team. Do not let the last few games fool you. This team needs a major overhaul and Bedard does not want to be a part of it. Get something for him. If you want him to go deeper in games....take him out after 42/3 innings for two or three games and see if that changes his gut any.

Posted by A Chimp

10:20 AM, Jul 05, 2008

Bedard has been a complete wuss but..... a drunk monkey wouldn't try to compare him to Washburn.

Posted by BWare

10:37 AM, Jul 05, 2008

The problem with Bedard is not so much his performance - he is pitching well by any objective analysis. The problem is that he is not meeting the expectations that were clearly benchmarked by the acquisition price the M's were obliged to pay for him.

Bedard's efforts are more indicative of a very effective #3 or #4 starter. Consistently keeps you in ballgames and sometimes dominant, but has a failing that separates them from the elite (e.g. lack of overpowering stuff, lack of command, etc.).

Bedard's failing is that he can't eat innings like the ace expected of him (wrongly expected, I might add). More importantly, his relatively short shelf life on the mound minimizes strategic opportunities where he pitches into situations most favorable to his team. Even if he could go 1/3 or 2/3 more innings, that could sometimes create a quick relief situation that is less taxing.

Again, he is pitching well, but he is clearly not made up like an ace. For this reason, he is most likely an M for the duration of his contract. He is a cheap option on the market, which is precisely the problem. He is good for two high level prospects at tops -- more likely a can't-miss and a lower-mid.

Probably more cost effective for the M's -- given their overvalued investment in Bedard -- to find a "designated pitcher" who can give 1-3 innings behind him. Not necessarily bad, but it does eat a roster spot.

Posted by Ryan

10:48 AM, Jul 05, 2008

Brandon Morrow has the best ERA of any reliever in the American League ( 0.67). I think you could make a case for him. They have taken " set up guys" in the past, with eye popping stats. Arthur Rhodes in 2001 was one of them. I think Morrow's numbers qualify as eye popping. He has been flat out dominant. You ask any American League manager if he belongs on the all star team and I bet they all say yes. What will hurt his cause is that we are in last place and will probably only get Ichiro, and the other thing that hurts is his lack of saves. He is 6 for 6 thought with a 0.00 ERA in save situations. I think he deserves a look.

Posted by scrapiron

10:49 AM, Jul 05, 2008

PQS (Pure Quality Start) is a great measurement tool for pitchers, and rates each start from 0-5. 0 to 1 is considered a Disaster start, 4-5 is considered a Dominant start. This season 40% of Bedard's starts have been Dominant, 27% have been a Disaster.

Comparing the PQS scores from 2007 to 2008, you'll see Bedard already has the same number of poor starts he had all of last year, and no where near the dominant starts he had last year, unless he throws PQS 5 starts the rest of the season.

Erik Bedard PQS0 PQS1 PQS2 PQS3 PQS4 PQS5
2007 2 0 1 4 3 18
2008 3 0 1 4 2 4

Posted by David

11:46 AM, Jul 05, 2008

I will damn right compare washburn to bedard. Washburn goes deeper thus giving his team a chance to win. Bedard is like a businessman who goes home at 1pm. Half a days work. Wash shows up, pitches his heart out and goes deep giving his team a chance to win. Id take 7ip 3er of wash vs 5IP 2er from bedard ANYDAY and that is their average IF Bedard is on. He seems to me to go 5ip 4er most weeks. Hurting the bullpen which has been lights out this season.

Posted by NB

11:48 AM, Jul 05, 2008

Washburn is decidedly average. There is no comparison between him and Bedard except that they both suck after 90 pitches and one of them is smart enough to know it.

Posted by scottM

12:26 PM, Jul 05, 2008

Washburn has only pitched well his last few outings. Is this because he wants to be traded to a contender and knows that picking up his game will help best guarantee that trade? Personally, I think he's been going through the motions since he came to Seattle and is part of a culture of acceptable mediocrity that keeps the M's from competing at the next level. Given a choice between keeping Bedard or keeping Washburn in 2009, it's a no brainer. Adios,Washburn.

Posted by rigglemansucks

1:05 PM, Jul 05, 2008

There is that rumor of the hip problem, perhaps that is causing Bedard to lose something on his pitches as he gets to the 90-100 mark. The other thing is the M's offense is so bad, if Bedard went into the 6th inning with the score 5-1 every time rather than 2-1, maybe you can get another 10-20 pitches out of him with that cushion.

Aside from that, can someone explain why Riggleman keeps batting Vidro in the run producing high OPS positions in the lineup? Just totally is mind boggling. Mac was flat out dumb, but what's Riggleman's problem?

Posted by MLG

1:31 PM, Jul 05, 2008

I find the Bedard 100-pitch comments from Burke somewhat absurd. Look at Bedard's pitch counts in Baltimore the last three years...he was able to go 100+ (and even 110+) many times during the season. Only when he got to Seattle did he become the lightweight that we see today.

I think it's pretty clear: Bedard is half-assing it until he can get out of Seattle.

Posted by davi

1:34 PM, Jul 05, 2008

Why dont fans at the stadium BOO him until he leaves the field? id boo him from warmups till the 4th inning 100pitch count hits!! freakin baby!!! never before have i heard of pitchers having to leave after 100! look at felix he goes 130 regularly and is a warrior

Posted by Lance

1:36 PM, Jul 05, 2008

Outstanding pivot by Jose. From my vantagepoint point in the third deck it looked like he got taken out on the play. Next thing I see is a throw headed for first base. And, accurate enough to complete the DP. Just outstanding.

I hope he's gained enough maturity so that he'll be able to play one complete season, rather than one good half and then a bad half, like the last two years. If not, he's just selling himself short.

If he can he's definitely one of the core players this team needs to build around, along with Felix, Brandon, Sean, Mark, the big Aussie, J.J., Yuni, and Jeff. Everyone else has had their time here and it's time to move on.

Although, you're probably stuck with Silva and that contract. And, even if dealt by July 31, Raul should be re-signed in the winter for his experience, leadership, history with this team, and his ability to remain a solid hitter. Probably as a 1Bman, until Dennis Rabin is ready, or as a DH.

Because Lopez's range at 2B isn't what you want, Lopez really needs to be moved to third and Adrian dealt elsewhere to make room. But, provided he can play complete seasons, JLo's a keeper.

Posted by James from Walla Walla

1:43 PM, Jul 05, 2008

Geoff,

I get the sence that JJ Putz if he shows he is healthy? Has the best chance to be traded after the All-Star break. He might be our most valuable trade commodity. Here is why I have these feelings.

We draft Josh Field, the best closer in college baseball. He may make the team out of spring training next year, like Morrow. Morrow is doing fantastic as a fill in closer! Lowe is really coming around for set-up or dare say even closer role? Thus, we have some depth at this position.

I have been watch Clete Thomas, the Tigers RF.
He show really good patients at the plate and puts
good swings on pitches he does swings at. He is filling in for Magglio Ordonez who is on the DL at present. Maybe a trade can be worked out involving Thomas and their best 1st base prospect can be worked out?? Sending JJ to the Tigers, being he is from the Michigan area. A really good closer is something Detroit really could use for their stretch run! Just a thought??

Posted by MLG

1:50 PM, Jul 05, 2008

Any insinuation that Bedard has always been a "100-pitch" pitcher is flat wrong. Below are his starta / 100+ pitches / 110+ pitches for the last five years. Below that is the 100+ / 110+ percentage breakdown. Bedard is currently well below his historical average. He's either hurt or he's dogging it, pure and simple.

2008: 15 / 6 / 1
2007: 28 / 21 / 10
2006: 33 / 23 / 5
2005: 24 / 16 / 8
2004: 22 / 17 / 7

2008: 40% / 7%
2007: 75% / 36%
2006: 70% / 15%
2005: 67% / 33%
2004: 63% / 26%

Posted by James from Walla Walla

2:28 PM, Jul 05, 2008

Bedard trade or NOT?? My two cents worth!

Unless he a poison in the club house? Keeping Bedard makes sence! You can bet other ball clubs will not give us the type of deal that we gave Baltimore. Especially, being he has not pitched as well as he did last year. It is like the commercial where the guy buys a painting. Then, he says I would like to sell it now. Really now, good left handed pitching is hard to come by at this level. Thus, lets keep and work with what we got. Lets see if we can adjust to his introverted behaviors. He reminds me of the quiet new kid in school. He is not very talkative and keeps to himself until you get to know him. You see him smiling and interacting with his team-mates in the dugout. So, I contend this is the adjustment period after the honey-moon is over.

Posted by Oly Mike

3:11 PM, Jul 05, 2008

The problem is we are all talking about Bavasi mistakes. Bedard was the latest mistake by Bavasi. So we don't know how much of a mistake Bedard will ultimately be. All we know right now is that he is a "Mistake" and we should include Silva here too because we also don't kmow how big of a mistake he is going to be yet either. Wahburn, Sexson, Vidro, Batista, Weaver & HoRam are all huge bavasi mistakes. hey do you notice most of them are pitchers. Maybe Bavasi couldn't tell a good pitcher if he saw one. So what do we know? Well we sould dump all the bavasi Mistakes or BM's (bowl movements0 and start with a clean flush. And please flush Washburn!!! I'm tired of my friends that are Angel fans taunting me about him and how overjoyed they are that we have him and they don't!!!!!

Posted by GripS

3:14 PM, Jul 05, 2008

I firmly believe Bedard is a poison to the clubhouse.

I also firmly believe he's not pitching up to his full potential.

What really kills me is a poor attitude when making several millions to play a FREAKIN GAME!! You are getting paid top dollar. Give top dollar performance REGARDLESS of how you feel about the team or about management.

This team would be soooo much better with a good starting pitching staff. Currently we have 1.... I repeat..... ONE quality starter and that is Felix. Washburn has been OK but thats about it.

For those thinking that Bedard did a good job yesterday..... REALLY?? What was the Ball/Strike ratio yesterday???? How many did he walk? The Bullpen pulled off the win.... NOT Bedard.

Posted by P.S.

3:35 PM, Jul 05, 2008

@ davi:

I'm a Felix fan, but "he goes 130 regularly" isn't really accurate. His highest total this season is 117 pitches, April 11th against the Angels.

Then again, I for one am glad he doesn't stay out for 130. Plus, when most of his best games are in the 90s in pitch count, what's to complain about? :)

Posted by 11Records

3:41 PM, Jul 05, 2008

In Bedard's defense, that was his second start since the back problems. Obviously you'd like to get a few more outs from him. I wouldn't give up on him yet though.

It does put a lot of pressure on Dickey to go 7+ tonight, because Green is definitely not avail tonight, and Morrow might be a question mark. Plus - RRS is starting tomorrow, so they need to save the pen.

As to Richie - there's no one else in the organization to play 1B. Not with Wlad in AAA. They're not gonna throw Clement or Kenji over there, and Richie at his worst is a better offensive option than Miguel Cairo.

Finally - the next comment I see that says Felix is pitching like a solid number 2, I'm going to freak out. I mean, get real, yo. Do you have a problem with the 2.83 ERA? Really?

Posted by scottM

4:07 PM, Jul 05, 2008

"the next comment I see that says Felix is pitching like a solid number 2, I'm going to freak out."

Lately, Felix has absolutely been pitching like an ACE for any MLB team. However, if we look at the season as a whole, the few games where he really tanked, then, overall, he's pitched like a #2 starter. Crown Prince Felix is clearly on the verge of greatness. Long live the King!

Posted by wag the dog

4:29 PM, Jul 05, 2008

I don't see the Mariners seriously contending next season. And I don't see them heading in the right direction for a turnaround accomplished in 2-3 seasons without making some significant changes to the roster. Whether it's eliminating guys who accept losing/mediocrity or acquiring guys who fill significant voids in power, pitching and leadership - changes need to be made.

We hold Bedard's rights for one season. I don't see anything that suggests Bedard is willing to re-sign with Seattle and it's unlikely he's going to make us a contender next season without significant improvements made to the roster. As a result, it seems like we are faced with two unappealing options. Keep him for this season and next when he'll have little value to us because we aren't contending. Or trade him for something less than what we gave up to get him.

At this stage, with the improvements the roster needs, I think we need to focus on the future and the includes considering trading away players that are valuable to us in the present. We aren't good at present. We aren't going to get better unless we use our few valuable chips to obtain young guys that will have value to us in the future, when we have a shot of not being terrible.

We're not going to get the same value in return for Bedard as we gave up. Sucks, but it's true. We shouldn't just give him away, but if we can get something like 3/4 the value we gave up, it's worth listening to offers with an eye on building for the future. To me, any player that isn't going to have value to us in 2-3 years should be expendable in return for players that will have value at that time. Getting younger will be painful, but at least we'll be headed somewhere.

Posted by glmuskie

5:21 PM, Jul 05, 2008

OK, this Bedard bashing has gone way too far.

He is one of the best starting pitchers in baseball. His K rate, his track record, his age, all show this. The only better left handed starter the M's have ever had is going to the hall of fame. This is a guy I want starting game 2 of the World Series. Or game 7. Can you say that about Washburn? That comparison is a joke. Washburn himself admits he has no strikeout pitch. Bedard can K them with the best. Last year, he WAS the best.

This whining by the media about his lack of quotability, lack of availability, and terse responses... it's whining, and it's pathetic. Who cares how he relates to the Media? When Bedard pitches, your team has the upper hand when the game starts. With very, very few exceptions.

We knew about Bedard's propensity for small injuries and missed time before he got here. He's a Ferari. Riggleman says he knows his body and manages himself to avoid serious injury. Fine with me. If he gets his team 15 wins and is healthy for the playoffs, that's AOK by me.

This whining about this perceived 100-pitch limit, seems to me like whining about Dali because he doesn't paint like picasso. How many pitches do you want? 105? 120? How many would make you happy? Do you want your starting pitcher out there if he doesn't feel like he's got it? If he threw 130 pitches every game, then went on the DL for 2 months because he injured himself from being overworked, would you be happy?

I will take a rotation of 5 Bedards any day of the week. He's our second best starting pitcher.

I love watching him pitch. I can't say that about Batista, or Silva, or Washburn. I want him to stay because he's an assassin on the mound.

For all you VORP people, we're paying the guy only $7,000,000 this year. That's a steal for someone with his ability.

In baseball, you want players who are great baseball players. They'll have up years and down years. Bedard will have better years than this; he'll probably have worse. You want players like him that can flat get the job done. Batters are hitting .231 off him this year. Washburn? We're paying him $9,850,000 and opponents are batting .305 off him.

We should embrace players like Bedard. I really, really hope he stays.

Posted by davi

5:45 PM, Jul 05, 2008

the other 4 starters are WARRIORS only pulled when told well after 100 pitches. QUEEN ERICA just walk off and goes home to his prostitues at 4ip 100p. why defend him he sux!! Ggimme 4 guys with heart over him!!!`````

Recent entries

Jul 5, 08 - 05:19 PM
Is Bedard healthy?

Jul 4, 08 - 05:49 PM
Green, Lopez key victory

Jul 4, 08 - 03:16 PM
Detroit Tigers at Mariners: 07/04 game thread

Jul 4, 08 - 12:28 PM
Holiday optimism

Jul 3, 08 - 11:13 PM
Better opposition tonight

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