Monday, August 6, 2012

Bedard Charms Snakes 4-0

Erik Bedard was off to a good start; a couple of short flies and a bounce out to open the game. Wade Miley matched him with a whiff and two rollers, and it was a quick inning to kick off the game.

Paul Goldschmidt cauaght a rising heater and bounced it off the Xfinity sign in right center to lead off the second with a double. Justin Upton rolled one weakly to first to move the runner to third. Bedard reared back and K'ed Miguel Montero, blowing a heater past him, then got Chris Johnson on a hard one-hopper to Harrison at third to strand Goldschmidt. Miley kept mowing down Buccos.

Bedard tossed a clean third. After two were down, Bedard hit a soft liner the opposite way for the first knock off Miley, and Starling Marte followed with a dink single to left. But Harrison fell behind 0-2 and rolled a ball off the handle to third to end the frame.

Three D-Backs were up, three D-Backs grounded out in the fourth, and Bedard is showing great command of his fastball so far. Cutch dropped a parachute into center; the hop glanced off Chris Young's mitt and he lost the ball for a second. McCutch motored into second, and when the throw short hopped off the SS's mitt, he kept on trucking to third. Gaby Sanchez followed with a soft bouncer to short, and the Bucs were up 1-0.

AJ must have rubbed Bedard's head before the game; he finished the fifth with a twelve out string. The Bucs had a golden opportunity in their half, but couldn't cash in. Rod Barajas singled over third and went back and forth between first and second as Jason Kubel had trouble with loose turf, eventually diving back to first in a pretty good impromptu comedy routine. He went to third as Clint Barmes took a heater to the Notch for a double.

Bedard bounced out with the infield in, freezing the runners. Miley went soft on Marte, and lost him on a 3-2 pitch. Josh Harrison hit a ball right to short, and the 6-4-3 DP killed a chance to create a little separation. But the bright spot was that Miley is at 95 pitches.

The lanky Canadien kept dealing in the sixth, retiring the 8-9-1 hitters. The Bucs got a one out single from Sanchez, who never advanced past first. It's still 1-0 after six. After chopping down 17 in a row, Bedard was touched up for a two out knock to left by Goldschmidt. He tried to stretch it and was gunned by a mile; apparently the memo on Marte's arm hadn't gotten to him. And Bedard's count is pretty good; he's at just 84 pitches after seven.

With Matt Albers on the hill, Barajas led off with a single of Johnson's glove, and was bunted to second. Alex Presley pinch hit for Bedard and drew a five pitch walk. But the Bucs shot themselves in the foot again when Marte grounded into a 6-4-3; young guys like he and Harrison need to take a little better approach with guys on instead of rolling over on pitches.

Jason Grilli toed the rubber in the eighth. Bedard went seven shutout frames, giving up two hits and striking out five in a dominating performance. Grilled Cheese picked up right where Bedard left off, putting the D-Backs down without a peep. Brad Zeigler came on for Arizona. With an out, Cutch chopped a single up the middle and went to third when Sanchez rolled one through the right side on a hit and run.

Mike Zagurski got the call from Kirk Gibson. Walker greeted him with an infield knock, a weak roller toward short that a charging Willie Bloomquist couldn't glove cleanly, to plate Cutch. Travis Snider grabbed a bat and smoked a single to right past the backhand of 2B Aaron Hill, scoring Gaby and sending The Kid to third. Hot Rod golfed a short fly to center. Young hauled it in on the run, and Walker beat his throw home to make it 4-0. Hanny was loose, but with a four run lead, it was Chad Qualls time. Ho hum - he tucked the Snakes away in order, getting Bloomquist swinging at a slider to end it.

Amazing pitching tonight. Bedard's fastball command was excellent, and it made his hook even more effective. He had the swing-and-miss when he needed it, but spent the night making Arizona hit his pitch. The D-Backs sent only 28 batters to the plate, one over the minimum. The Bucs made it tough on themselves with their penchant for DPs, but it's hard to lose when your pitchers put up goose eggs. Cutch and Gaby provided enough O, combining for four hits, three runs and an RBI.

Patrick Corbin goes against Jeff Karstens tomorrow night.

  • Andrew McCutchen has 40 multi-hit games so far this season. 
  • The Bucs drew 24,213 at PNC tonight.
  • Arizona is 3-41 when trailing after seven innings.
  • Juan Cruz had a rough rehab outing at Altoona. He lasted 1/3 inning, giving up two runs on four hits with a whiff, and was pulled after 25 pitches (probably his limit).
  • RHP Chris LeRoux threw seven scoreless for Indy, giving up a hit with five K. In his last 22 IP, he has a 0.82 ERA with 18 K.

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