Erik Bedard allows no hits in 6.1 innings, loses anyway

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Astros lefty Erik Bedard brought a no-hitter into the seventh inning, but ran into a bit of trouble and a high pitch count. After Bedard walked Justin Smoak with one out (Bedard’s fifth walk of the evening), manager Bo Porter wasn’t willing to let him go beyond 111 pitches, replacing him with Jose Cisnero. Cisnero ran into a bit of trouble himself after recording the second out, walking Mike Zunino, then allowing the Mariners their first hit, a Michael Saunders two-run double that landed on Tal’s Hill.

Mariners starter Hisashi Iwakuma threw a scoreless seventh, Charlie Furbush tossed a scoreless eighth, and Tom Wilhelmsen nailed down the 4-2 victory in the ninth inning. Bedard becomes the ninth pitcher since 1901 to go at least six innings, allow no hits, and receive a loss. The last pitcher to do it was Jered Weaver in 2008 against the Dodgers.

Player Date Tm Opp Rslt App,Dec IP H R ER
Jered Weaver 2008-06-28 LAA LAD L 0-1 GS-6 ,L 6.0 0 1 0
Matt Young 1992-04-12 (1) BOS CLE L 1-2 CG 8 ,L 8.0 0 2 2
Andy Hawkins 1990-07-01 NYY CHW L 0-4 CG 8 ,L 8.0 0 4 0
Don Wilson 1974-09-04 HOU CIN L 1-2 GS-8 ,L 8.0 0 2 0
Clay Kirby 1970-07-21 SDP NYM L 0-3 GS-8 ,L 8.0 0 1 1
Steve Barber 1967-04-30 (1) BAL DET L 1-2 GS-9 ,L 8.2 0 2 1
Ken Johnson 1964-04-23 HOU CIN L 0-1 CG 9 ,L 9.0 0 1 0
Bob Shawkey 1917-07-04 (2) NYY WSH L 4-5 7.0 0 1 0
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/20/2013.

Also of note, Kyle Seager’s 15-game hitting streak came to an end, as did the Mariners’ streak of 23 consecutive games with a home run.

Justin Turner is a postseason monster

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A not-insignificant amount of the Dodgers’ success in recent years has to do with the emergence of Justin Turner. In his first five seasons with the Orioles and Mets, he was a forgettable infielder who had versatility, but no power. The Mets non-tendered him after the 2013 season, a move they now really regret.

In four regular seasons since, as a Dodger, Turner has hit an aggregate .303/.378/.502. His 162-game averages over those four seasons: 23 home runs, 36 doubles, 83 RBI, 80 runs scored. And he’s also a pretty good third baseman, it turns out. The Dodgers have averaged 95 wins per season over the past four years.

Turner, 32, has gotten better and better with each passing year. This year, he drew more walks (59) than strikeouts (56), a club only five other players (min. 300 PA) belonged to, and he trailed only Joey Votto (1.61) in BB/K ratio (1.05). He zoomed past his previous career-high in OPS, finishing at .945. His .415 on-base percentage was fourth-best in baseball. His batting average was fifth-best and only nine points behind NL batting champion Charlie Blackmon.

It doesn’t seem possible, but Turner has been even better in the postseason. He exemplified that with his walk-off home run to win Game 2 of the NLCS against the Cubs. Overall, entering Wednesday night’s action, he was batting .363/.474/.613 in 97 postseason plate appearances. In Game 4, he went 2-for-2 with two walks, a single, and a solo home run. That increases his postseason slash line to .378/.495/.659, now across 101 plate appearances. That’s a 1.154 OPS. The career-high regular season OPS for future first-ballot Hall of Famer Albert Pujols was 1.114 in 2008, when he won his third career MVP Award. Statistically, in the postseason, Turner hits slightly better than Pujols did in the prime of his career. Of course, we should adjust for leagues and parks and all that, but to even be in that neighborhood is incredible.

In the age of stats, the concept of “clutch” has rightfully eroded. We don’t really allow players to ascend to godlike levels anymore like the way we did Derek Jeter, for instance. (Jeter’s career OPS in the playoffs, by the way, was a comparatively pitiful .838.) Turner isn’t clutch; he’s just a damn good hitter whose careful approach at the plate has allowed him to shine in the postseason and the Dodgers can’t imagine life without him.