Mariners left-hander Erik Bedard, in his first start since June 27, retired just four of the 11 batters he faced, permitting three hits and four walks while striking out two before leaving with his team trailing the Tampa Bay Rays, 3-0, a deficit that quickly mushroomed to 8-0 after Bedard exited the game.
The 32-year-old, who had been on the disabled list with a sprained left knee, was charged with five earned runs, just the second time in 16 starts this year (and the first since April 10) that he had been charged with so many runs. It was, in fact, the shortest start of his career. He threw 57 pitches, fewer than half of which (28) were strikes.
While the line score was disastrous, however, Bedard's fastball averaged 91 mph and topped out at 93 mph, consistent with his velocity throughout the season.
One major league source said that the Mariners appeared to be waiting until after this outing before advancing talks with teams. While Bedard's horrible results might not help Seattle's negotiating position, the source suggested that it wouldn't necessarily cause teams to drop out of the bidding on his services. In terms of the market for starters, if healthy, Bedard still could represent a relatively affordable possibility for upgrading a contending team's rotation if he pitches to his pre-DL form.
On the season, assuming he takes the loss, Bedard will drop to 4-7 with a 3.45 ERA, 87 strikeouts and 30 walks in 91 1/3 innings.
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