Orioles Think Tank

Orioles Coverage for the Information Age

Bedard Looks Solid, O’s 7-5

Posted by Mike on April 15, 2006

Erik Bedard looked sharp through an uncharacteristically efficient 8 innings. Though he only had 4 K's, Bedard was able to take advantage of the free-swinging Angels and hold off the equally sharp Bartolo Colon for the victory.

As mentioned, the key to Bedard's start were his efficient pitching sequences.  He certainly appears to have come a long way from the 25 year old who led the major leagues in pitches per inning in 2004.  In fact, he was able to make it through 8 innings in a reasonable 102 pitches; 75 of which went for strikes.  Perhaps he got some assistance from the team that tied for the second worst isolated discipline (LAA-0.55) in the AL last year (note: Bal was 5th worst at 0.58).  Only time will tell.

Here are a few other observations from the game:

– Nick Markakis either A) had a tough time dealing with the sun today or B) is not yet a major-league caliber CF.  Either way, he spent the evening looking a bit lost out there and that near-collison with Jay Gibbons was scary. 

– Corey Patterson looks like he has quickly been pigeon-holed as a defensive replacement.  I'm not saying it isn't the correct move, just that I'm surprised it has happened so quickly.  Here is a guy that is making over 250% the salary that Luis Matos is, while Matos has received 250% more plate appearances.  I doubt it would change things much, but I was certainly expecting him to get a much longer look as a starter.

It also strikes me as a bit odd that Patterson has forced Matos to LF a few times in the later innings.  While they're both above-average CF, Patterson's Rate2 last year (102) was 5 runs lower than Matos' (107).  Despite Matos' lackadaisical body language, having him defer to Patterson in CF would cost the O's half a win for every 100 games.

– I think it was the seventh inning when Markakis led off with a single.  Immediately, Brian Roberts laid down a bunt.  According to this site, the O's had an 85.7% chance of winning the game before Roberts sacrificed him over to second.  Afterwards, they had an 85.3% chance of winning.  Nitpicking?  Yes.  Nonetheless, it was, at best, a pointless move (and those odds don't even factor in that Roberts is one of the O's best hitters).

– Jeff Conine hit a double today, doubling his hit total to 2.  The first hit was a HR, so at least his isolated power looks good…

– Remember when I said this?

Ramon Hernandez may be worth the money in the early part of his contract, but he is unlikely to be the difference between contending and not contending in those years. And towards the back end of his contract, when the Orioles might be in a better position to contend, he is unlikely to be worth the money.

Of course you do (insert winking emoticon).  I guess I should clarify that my commentary was contingent on him not hitting .526 this year, in which case he could very well be the catalyst for the O's contending.

– I'd like to reiterate that Chris Ray is my favorite Oriole, just in case anyone had forgotten.  Through 5.3 ip, he has 7 K's, 2 BB's, 2 hits allowed, 4 saves, and a 0.00 ERA.  It's getting really hard to continue being realistic about what this kid can accomplish, but I'd be hard-pressed to name an AB where Vladimir Guerrero looked worse than in the 9th inning today.  This is a guy who struck out all of 48 times last year and Ray made him look like Corey Patterson.

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54 Responses to “Bedard Looks Solid, O’s 7-5”

  1. RedSox RULE said

    I should clarify that my commentary was contingent on him not hitting .526 this year, in which case he could very well be the catalyst for the O’s contending.

    The O’s are not going to compete this year, get rael man.

  2. Zachary said

    Poor little Red Sox trolls. So insecure. Such inferiority complexes! They have to chant “Yankees suck” even when they’re in Baltimore. How sad to have your life’s events dictated by how often your team fails to meet expectations. Oh well, time to “get rael” I guess.

  3. Eddie said

    …the Os all of a sudden have a nice core of homegrown players developing on the ML team…Roberts, Ray, Bedard, Cabrera, Markakis…

    …I love Markakis’ strikezone judgment…after years of watching Corey Patterson-like (or Jeffrey Hammonds-like) young players spend their early years getting fooled and swinging at balls, it’s mind-boggling to see such a patient eye in Markakis…

    …Ray is just downright nasty…his low arm angle, mid 90s heater, nice slider, and control are just hard to question being anything but legitimate…you can see why the FO was so willing to hand the job over to the kid…

    …Cabrera is Cabrera…he’ll frusturate you but you won’t see many starts like the kind he can have…the Sun published an article on Cabrera’s control issues which cites historical examples of wild-but-good pitchers so it might give us Os fans some encouragement to not lose heart in the kid…we have to remember that Cabrera is still only 24 years old…his stuff is just mind-boggling…I wonder if Steve Dalkowski was reincarnated as a Dominican?…this time around he made it to the majors…big and tall pitchers usually have these types of control issues…

    …Bedard is just looking sharper and sharper…he’s getting to the point where he’s not just crossing his fingers when he lets a pitch go…you are starting to get the feeling more and more that he is throwing the ball to a spot at will with all of his pitches…the most impressive thing about Bedard’s development is his refinement of his control…he pitches inside and outside, changes speeds well, and his curve ball is becoming a deadly pitch, while considering his fastball’s velocity last outing was in the mid 90s, he might be considered at times an over-powering pitcher…though for the longterm bet, I bet he’ll have much more success if he focuses on pitching in a broad range, 88-95 mph velocity…

  4. Kilbs said

    My fave player by far is Bedard. It irritates me to no end that the last two times I went to Camden Yards, I haven’t been able to get one of his jerseys. I live out of town and I can get a Mariner jersey for ten bucks (and will when i go next to Safeco), so I really look forward to my rare trips to see my old hometown team. I go to the street vendors and all they had was Tejada, Mora, Roberts and Sosa (Sosa, wtf?).

    Anyway, I’m also very pleased with Ray and I have to give credit to Perlozzo for playing Markakis regularly. Of course, I don’t know why Nick is playing against lefties. But as you mentioned, why in the world did Perlozzo have Roberts bunt after Nick’s single. You really wonder why sometimes…

  5. bradley said

    i was at the game on friday and i definitely noticed that mazzone has the pitchers working more quickly. didn’t get to see the game saturday, but my dad set it was about 2 hours.

    i know an old knock on bedard was his pace…mazzone seems to have knocked the slows out of him, so far.

  6. Eddie said

    …I think sometime back when Davey was managing the team the Os started to deliberately try to slow the game down to compensate for having catchers without an arm and control the run game…Hoiles was a nice offensive catcher but he couldn’t throw it…Charles Johnson was decent but he never really caught on here…since then I think it just sort of became an institutional habit, esp. since we’d walk out a lot of young pitching that gets easily rattled with men onbase…but, now with Hernandez and improving pitching, we can speed things up again…

    ..honestly I can’t remember the last time we had a legitimate defensive catcher behind the dish…

  7. Mike said

    1) I’d wager that if Ramon Hernandez hits over .500 this year, the O’s will contend.

    2) It’s wonderful to see such a patient hitter in Markakis, but if he doesn’t start demonstrating an ability to pull the ball for power, I doubt pitchers will throw him many balls. Just one more reason he should still be in the minors- his power is not fully developed.

    3) If you find a Bedard jersey, let me know. I want one too.

    4) CJ was well regarded defensively and had a 106 rate2 in his only full season in Baltimore (1999). Even Fordyce was terrible, but I imagine his horrible hitting served to help his defensive reputation.

  8. Eddie said

    …Palmer mentioned an interesting thought on tonight’s broadcast…he mentioned how some rookies who have a game centered around strikezone judgment tend to take pitches until they get an absolutely perfect pitch…they look in a zone when ahead, and if it’s not perfect they just take it…and, in the big leagues, you’ll end up taking a lot of hittable pitches because that “perfect pitch” just doesn’t come around too often in the MLs…this leads me to think that Markakis just hasn’t seen this caliber of pitching before…it may take some time, but, I’m not selling yet…

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