Trade Tree: Erik Bedard

Erik Bedard has been a big part of the Pirates’ pitching renaissance this season. Tonight, he starts for against the Orioles, the team that drafted and developed him.

Bedard broke out in 2007 as an ace pitcher for the 4th place O’s. Instead of building around him, Baltimore decided to trade in in what turned out to be a franchise changing deal.

Bedard (and David Hernandez) became seven players, five of whom are still are still with the organization. The key to this being a good trade for Baltimore is Adam Jones – a good player the last four seasons who is putting up MVP caliber numbers this year.

So what did Seattle get on their end? Bedard has always been an effective pitcher when healthy, he just has trouble staying healthy. In his first three seasons in Seattle Erik made only 30 total starts. 2011 was his first injury-free season in Seattle, but it was also the last year of his contract. The Mariners decided to trade him to a contender at the deadline before another malady could put him on the shelf.

The M’s are left with two toolsy outfield prospects and the visions of what Bedard might have been. It’s going to take one of Chih-Hsien Chiang or Trayvon Robinson turning into a major league regular for Seattle to recoup the value they sent away.

Series Preview: The Orioles

Current record: 32-27, 1st place tie in NL Central, 0.0 games ahead

Up Next: Baltimore Orioles, 34-26, 3rd place in AL East, 1.0 game back

Season Series: 0-0, First time playing.

Notes: The Orioles have been the surprise team of the AL this season, having spent 53 days in first place of the tough AL East. Like the Pirates, the O’s are finding their success despite having been outscored on the season 263-267. Also like the Pirates, they have a young All-Star center fielder leading the way. Adam Jones is hitting .298/.344/.571 with 17 home runs, 37 RBI and 9 steals. Anchoring the team behind the plate is a name all too familiar to Pirate fans: Matt Wieters. The Georgia Tech product has become one of the best catchers in the majors; just as it was thought he would back in 2007. Former Pirates GM Dave Littlefield passed on taking Wieters with the 4th pick, which is a big reason he is now the former GM.

Familiar Faces: Ronny Paulino, Steve Pearce, Dana Eveland

Probable Pitchers
Tuesday: RH Brad Lincoln (3-1, 30.0 IP, 31 K, 2.40 ERA, 1.07 WHIP)
vs. LH Wei-Yin Chen (5-2, 67.0 IP, 51 K, 3.49 ERA, 1.30 WHIP)

The Bucs face Chens in back to back starts for what has to be the first time in their history. Wei-Yin (no relation to Bruce) has been a major addition for the O’s this season. Jeff Karstens strained his hip flexor in his last rehab start, so Lincoln will get at least one more turn.

Wednesday: RH Kevin Correia (2-5, 63.0 IP, 24 K, 4.29 ERA, 1.27 WHIP)
vs. LH Brian Matusz (5-6, 65.1 IP, 50 K, 4.82 ERA, 1.55 WHIP)

Thursday: LH Erik Bedard (4-6, 62.2 IP, 61 K, 3.59 ERA, 1.37 WHIP)
vs. RH Tommy Hunter (2-3, 65.0 IP, 33 K, 5.40 ERA, 1.40 WHIP)

No lineups yet.

Royals Wrap Up

Scores:
Friday: 4-2 Win vs Kansas City. Bedard rolls through 7. Box score.
Saturday: 5-3 Win vs Kansas City. In the big inning, Bucs score 5. Box score.
Sunday: 3-2 Win vs Kansas City. McCutchen, Burnett lead the way. Box score.

Season Record: 32-27, 1st place tie in NL Central, 0.0 games ahead

Notes: Sweep! Detroit helps out, taking two from Cincy and putting the Pirates are in a first place tie. Andrew McCutchen had a big day Sunday, but the rest of the offense was spread out over the weekend and over the whole team. James McDonald struggled for the first time in over a month. Jose Tabata needs to be stopped from running. If he’s hurt, put him on the DL.

Combined Box

Pittsburgh   AB    R    H  RBI  BB  SO  LOB     AVG     OBP
Presley, LF 13 1 3 1 0 1 1 0.231 0.231
Walker, 2B 11 2 4 2 1 5 2 0.364 0.417
Barajas, C 10 2 3 0 1 4 2 0.300 0.364
McCutchen, A, CF 10 1 2 3 2 3 5 0.200 0.333
Barmes, SS 10 2 2 2 0 1 5 0.200 0.200
Tabata, RF 8 1 2 0 0 1 5 0.250 0.333
Jones, G, PH-RF-1B 7 0 2 2 0 0 5 0.286 0.286
McGehee, 3B, 1B 5 0 2 0 0 1 3 0.400 0.400
Alvarez, 3B 5 2 1 0 3 1 5 0.200 0.500
Hague, PH-1B 4 1 0 0 1 1 5 0.000 0.200
Harrison, RF 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.000 0.000
Burnett, AJ, P 3 0 0 0 0 2 2 0.000 0.000
Bedard, P 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.000 0.000
McDonald, J, P 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.000 0.000
Mercer, PH 0 0 0 0 1 0 0      —- 1.000
  Totals 91 12 21 10 9 22 41 0.231 0.307

Batting
Doubles (4): Jones (8), Alvarez (10), McGehee (6), McCutchen (10)
Home Runs (1): McCutchen (11)

BaseRunning
SB: Walker 2 (5), Presley 3 (6), McCutchen (11)
CS: Tabata 2 (7), Mercer (1)
PO: Tabata

Fielding
Errors: Resop (2)
Double Plays: (Barmes-Hague)

Pitching

Pittsburgh     IP    H    R   ER  BB  SO  HR    ERA   WHIP
Burnett, AJ (W, 6-2) 7.3 5 2 2 2 6 0 2.45 0.95
Bedard (W, 4-6) 7.0 5 2 2 3 5 0 2.57 1.14
McDonald, J 4.0 5 3 3 2 2 1 6.75 1.75
Hughes, J (W, 2-0) 2.3 1 0 0 0 2 0 0.00 0.43
Grilli (H, 15) (S, 1) 2.0 1 0 0 1 3 0 0.00 1.00
Hanrahan (S, 16, 17) 2.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 0.00
Resop 1.0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 3.00
Slaten (H, 2) 0.7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00
Cruz, J (H, 11) 0.3 0 0 0 1 1 0 0.00 3.00
Watson (H, 6) 0.3 0 0 0 1 0 0 0.00 3.00
  Totals 27.0 20 7 7 10 20 1 2.33 1.11

Transactions: none

Series Preview: The Royals

Current record: 29-27, 2nd place in NL Central, 2.0 games back

Up Next: Kansas City Royals, 24-31, 4th place in AL Central, 7.0 games back

Season Series: 0-0, First time playing.

Notes: Interleague play is back for the next 15 games. For the Royals tonight, that means they lose the DH and their defense gets shifted around to keep their best hitters in the lineup. DH Billy Butler goes to first, 1B Eric Hosmer goes to RF, and RF Jeff Francoeur moves to CF. The Pirates have been playing well and should have no trouble with the weak Royals pitching.

Familiar Faces: Surpisingly, none.

Probable Pitchers
Friday: RH Luke Hochevar (3-6, 57.0 IP, 46 K, 6.63 ERA, 1.54 WHIP)
vs. LH Erik Bedard (3-6, 55.2 IP, 56 K, 3.72 ERA, 1.40 WHIP)

Saturday: LH Vin Mazzaro (2-0, 12.0 IP, 5 K, 2.25 ERA, 1.25 WHIP)
vs. RH James McDonald (5-2, 71.1 IP, 71 K, 2.14 ERA, 0.95 WHIP)

Sunday: LH Bruce Chen (5-5, 70.0 IP, 48 K, 4.37 ERA, 1.24 WHIP)
vs. RH A.J. Burnett (5-2, 55.0 IP, 50 K, 3.76 ERA, 1.29 WHIP)

Royals
Alex Gordon LF
Yuniesky Betancourt 2B
Billy Butler 1B
Mike Moustakas 3B
Jeff Francoeur CF
Eric Hosmer RF
Alcides Escobar SS
Humberto Quintero C
Luke Hochevar P

Alex Presley LF
Neil Walker 2B
Andrew McCutchen CF
Garrett Jones RF
Pedro Alvarez 3B
Jose Tabata RF
Rod Barajas C
Clint Barmes SS
Erik Bedard P

Reds Wrap Up

Scores:
Tuesday: 8-4 Win at Cincinnati. Welcome back, Presley. Box score.
Wednesday: 5-4 Loss at Cincinnati. Late comeback not enough. Box score.
Thursday: 5-4 Win at Cincinnati. Bucs take a see-saw battle in 10. Box score.

Season Record: 29-27, 2nd place in NL Central, 2.0 games back

Notes: The Pirates take two of three from the first place Reds to creep to within two games. Alex Presley was a huge spark plug after being called up on Tuesday. Really everyone on the team looked good at bat at one time or another.

Combined Box

Pittsburgh AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG OBP
Walker, 2B 14 3 5 4 0 4 3 0.357 0.357
Presley, LF 14 4 5 1 0 2 4 0.357 0.357
McCutchen, A, CF 12 1 3 3 1 4 4 0.250 0.308
Jones, G, RF 10 1 3 2 0 2 2 0.300 0.273
Barmes, SS 9 1 4 3 0 1 0 0.444 0.444
Hague, 1B 9 1 1 0 0 2 2 0.111 0.111
McGehee, 3B 8 2 2 2 1 1 0 0.250 0.333
Barajas, C 7 2 1 0 1 1 1 0.143 0.250
Alvarez, 3B 5 1 2 0 0 1 1 0.400 0.400
Tabata, RF 5 1 1 0 0 1 2 0.200 0.200
McKenry, C 3 0 1 2 0 1 0 0.333 0.250
Harrison, PH,2B,SS 3 0 0 0 0 1 4 0.000 0.250
Burnett, AJ, P 3 0 0 0 0 2 3 0.000 0.000
Correia, P 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.000
Lincoln, P 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.000 0.000
  Totals 105 17 28 17 3 24 26 0.267 0.288

Batting
Doubles (6): Barmes (9), Barajas (7), Presley (5), Walker (10), Barmes (10), McKenry (3)
Triples (1): Presley (3)
Home Runs (4): Walker (3), McGehee (1), Presley (3), McCutchen (10)

BaseRunning
SB: Jones (2), Hague (1), Walker (3)
CS: Harrison (1)
PO: McCutchen

Fielding
Passed Balls: Barajas (5)
Double Plays: (Barmes-Walker-Hague)

Pitching

Pittsburgh IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA WHIP
Burnett, AJ(W, 5-2) 5.0 5 3 3 4 8 0 5.40 1.80
Correia 5.0 8 3 3 1 4 2 5.40 1.80
Lincoln(L, 3-1) 4.0 6 5 5 2 5 1 11.25 2.00
Resop(S, 1) 3.0 2 0 0 3 5 0 0.00 1.67
Slaten 3.0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0.00 0.67
Hughes, J 2.0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0.00 0.50
Hanrahan(S, 15)(BS, 2)(W, 3-0) 2.0 1 1 1 1 3 1 4.50 1.00
Watson(H, 5) 1.3 0 0 0 1 1 0 0.00 0.75
Grilli(H, 14) 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 0.00
Cruz, J(H, 10) 0.7 3 1 1 1 1 0 13.50 6.00
  Totals 27.0 26 13 13 15 31 4 4.33 1.52

Transactions: Recalled OF Alex Presley from AAA. Optioned OF Gorkys Hernandez to AAA.

May Recap

A week late with this, but here goes.

The Pirates went 15-13 in May to bring their overall record to 25-25. They had a three and a four game winning streak and never lost more than two in a row.

The offense improved more than half a run, from 2.64 runs per game to 3.18 rpg. Unfortunately the pitching regressed almost a whole run, going from an even 3.00 rpg to 3.93 rpg. The big star of the month was James McDonald. The tall righty was 3-1 with a 1.54 ERA, 10.0 K/9 and held opponents to a .509 OPS.

Remember that tough April schedule the Pirates had and how things were going to be easier in May? Well, easier is relative. Pirates opponents played .528 ball (149-133) in May compared to .570 in April.

Other Notes:

The Pirates won four series, lost four series and split two.

Record vs
NL East: 5-5, 33 RS, 38 RA (3.30 RS/G, 3.80 RA/G)
NL Central: 9-6, 49 RS, 59 RA (3.27 RS/G, 3.93 RA/G)
AL Central: 1-2, 7 RS, 13 RA (2.33 RS/G, 4.33 RA/G)

Home: 11-7, 52 RS, 54 RA (2.89 RS/G, 3.00 RA/G)
Away: 4-6, 37 RS, 56 RA (3.70 RS/G, 5.60 RA/G)

1 Run games: 9-3
2 Run games: 2-2
3 Run games: 3-2
4 Run games: 0-1
5 Run games: 0-2
6 Run games: 1-1
7 Run games: 0-1
9 Run games: 0-1

Summary: The Pirates were pretty lucky in May. They won way more than their share of one run games and gave up a good chunk of their total runs allowed in a few blowouts. The team as a whole is playing much better ball to end May than they did to start the month and that good play has carried over into June.

Presley Called Up

Outfielder Alex Presley has been recalled from AAA Indianapolis and is playing left field and batting leadoff tonight. Jose Tabata has the night off, presumably to rest the hamstring that has been bothering him. OF Gorkys Hernandez was optioned to AAA to make room on the roster.

Tonight’s Lineup:
Alex Presley LF
Neil Walker 2B
Andrew McCutchen CF
Garrett Jones RF
Matt Hague 1B
Casey McGehee 3B
Rod Barajas C
Clint Barmes SS
A.J. Burnett P

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