The Pirates gave Erik Bedard (5.01 ERA, 4.05 xFIP) his walking papers yesterday. The oft-injured southpaw somehow remained healthy this season but had slumped since June. In his article “Erik Bedard Walks the Plank,” Fangraphs’ Jeff Sullivan wonders if the Pirates should have held on to the 33-year old:
You hear that the Pirates released Erik Bedard and you raise your eyebrows. You associate Bedard with a lot of talent in your head, and a lot of that talent’s still in there, even after all the injuries. Bedard’s 2012 season numbers are just fine for a back-of-the-rotation starting pitcher, even with the limited stamina. Where this starts to make a little more sense is in considering what Bedard has done lately, and in considering that he hasn’t reached 130 innings since 2007. The Pirates strongly believe that the struggling Erik Bedard they saw lately was more like the real Erik Bedard than the effective Erik Bedard they saw early on. If that’s true, then [Kevin] Correia or [Jeff] Locke should do just fine as replacements, as Bedard wasn’t going to be much help. But if that isn’t true, and if this is simpler than it seems, then the Pirates just cut ties with a high-strikeout starter because he fell into a slump of results.
Only four MLB ballparks in 2012 have bullpens situated in foul territory along the baselines. David DeJesus (.269/.358/.405, .330 wOBA) learned on Monday evening what can happen in Wrigley Field when a warm-up toss from the Cubs pen is just a bit outside.
Dave Cameron is rather unimpressed with statistics showing team records in one-run games. Writing on Sunday in his U.S.S. Mariner blog, he pointed out:
It’s all going to be BS, and if you want proof, just look at the records of MLB teams in one run games this year. The two teams that met in the World Series last year are 13–21 (STL) and 16–16 (TEX) in one run games this year. Presumably, these two teams are veteran enough to know how to win and all that jazz, but in close games, they’ve lost more than they’ve won. The defending World Champions actually have the fourth worst record in one run games in all of baseball, coming in just ahead of the Blue Jays, the Cubs, and the Astros.
You know who’s been really good in one run games? The Orioles, who are 23–6, and not exactly a club loaded with veterans who have been through the wars. You know who else has been really good in one run games? The Indians (15–8), who are a legitimately bad baseball team and dumped their older players as the season went along.
The Yankees are one of the most veteran teams anyone has ever seen, as they have the oldest group of hitters and the second oldest group of pitchers in the AL. They are 15–18 in one run games.
Think a progressive manager makes a huge difference, and lets you squeeze out wins that an old school guy does not? Well, the Rays are 18–21 in one run games despite having Joe Maddon at the helm, so they don’t really support that theory very well.
The reality is that the results of one run games are mostly random, with the deciding factors often being something like two outfielders running into each other and knocking the ball loose so the winning run can score from second base. Okay, so that specific situation doesn’t happen all that often, but the idea is that things mostly out of a team’s control are often crucial factors in picking the winners of games decided by a single run.
The next time we will see Joey Bats swing a bat in anger will be in 2013. Via Dustin Parkes of theScore: Jose Bautista (.241/.358/.527, .376 wOBA) will undergo wrist surgery and miss the balance of this season.
Josh Harrison (.238/.284/.376, .284 wOBA) may be listed at a mere 5′8″, but he approaches home plate like Earl Campbell used to barrel toward the end zone. It took a fantastic play by Yadier Molina (.324/.374/.510, .381 wOBA) to absorb this vicious shoulder-to-head collision at home plate last night. Molina exited after that play for precautionary reasons and the Pirates blanked the Cards, 9–0.