Sometimes, it’s not your night. Erik Bedard was fantastic for the Pirates tonight, striking out 11 and allowing just four base runners in seven innings against the Cubs, but that wasn’t enough as the Pirates only mustered one hit in eight innings against Jeff Samardzija. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a frustrating game to watch, but it is true that these things do happen to even the best teams on occasion.
At the very least, it’s nice to see Bedard put together a really solid (I’d say borderline spectacular, but, y’know, the Cubs) start after his struggles in June and early July. His first start back from the break against the Rockies wasn’t a bad one compared to some of the eggs he’d been laying earlier this month, but he also gave up eight hits and four walks to go with four strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings. The coaching staff seemed heartened, but I was hoping to see a bit more. He gave us that tonight, cranking his fastball up to 92 and hitting his spots pretty much perfectly all night. The Pirates’ rotation is much better with an effective Erik Bedard in it and so that’s a nice silver lining to take out of tonight.
The offense, well, Samardzija does occasionally put up dominant starts (coming into tonight he had four starts with a Game Score of 70+ this year) and he looked pretty good tonight. I know that we Pirate fans are all afraid of the offense suddenly turning back into a pumpkin, but that sort of thing takes more than one night to happen. For now, let’s all just assume that the Pirates caught a talented young starter on one of those nights that make talented young starters so tantalizing and hope that that’s all we need to say about it.