Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Erik Bedard, 2007 Upper Deck #60
Anyway, it looked like things would unravel for the underdog Houston team in the sixth inning last night. Starter Bud Norris was clearly running out of gas, and a pair of two-out RBI singles cut the Astros' lead in half. Suddenly a familiar face was summoned from the bullpen to put out the fire. Erik Bedard, the putative fifth starter for the 'Stros, got the call with the tying runs on base and lefty-swinging catcher A. J. Pierzynski due up. Bedard induced a fly out to center field on his second pitch, and the Rangers' rally was squelched. Rather than turn the game into a LaRussa-esque bullpen relay race, Houston manager Bo Porter stayed with the hot hand. Bedard was allowed to pitch the seventh inning...and the eighth...and the ninth. He was near-perfect, retiring 10 of the 11 batters he faced an allowing only a one-out, ninth-inning single to Nelson Cruz. Though the home team added four insurance runs in the late innings, Erik earned his first career save the old-fashioned way. Coming off of a pretty miserable 2012 season with the Pirates, maybe the Canadian lefty has found a new role. It's something to consider if he falters in the rotation again.