Erik Bedard allows no hits in 6.1 innings, loses anyway

20 Comments

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.

MLB’s juiced baseball is juicing Triple-A home run totals too

Getty Images
Leave a comment

There has been considerable evidence amassed over the past year or two that the baseball used by Major League Baseball has a lower aerodynamic profile, leading to less drag, which leads directly to more home runs. If you doubted that at all, get a load of what is happening in Triple-A right now.

The minors have always had different balls than the majors. The MLB ball is made in Costa Rica at a Rawlings facility. The minor league balls are made in China. They use slightly different materials and, by all accounts, the minor league balls do not have the same sort of action and do not travel as far as the big league balls. Before the season, as Baseball America reported, Major League Baseball requested that Triple-A baseball switch to using MLB balls. The reason: uniformity and, one presumes, more accurate analysis of performance at the top level of the minor leagues.

The result, as Baseball America reports today, is a massive uptick in homers in the early going to the Triple-A season:

Last April, Triple-A hitters homered once every 47 plate appearances. As the weather warmed up, so did the home run rate. Over the course of the entire 2018 season, Triple-A hitters homered every 43 plate appearances. So far this year, they are homering every 32 plate appearances. Triple-A hitters are hitting home runs at a rate of 135 percent of last year’s rate.

Again, that’s in the coldest, least-homer friendly month of the season. It’s gonna just get worse. Or better, I guess, if you’re all about the long ball.

Which you had better be, because if they did something to deaden the balls and reduce homers, we’d have the same historically-high strikeout and walk rates but with no homers to provide offense to compensate. At least unless or until hitters changed their approach to become slap hitters or something, but that could take a good while. And may still not be effective given the advances in defense since the last time slap hitting was an important part of the game.

In the meantime, enjoy the dingers, Triple-A fans.