Yes, there's cheap beer, cheap hot dogs and Erik Bedard - what more could a Tacoma Rainier fan want on a Thursday night?
Well, from high, high above the field at Cheney Stadium, here's the report on what Mr. Bedard is doing vs. the Portland Beavers:
- In the first inning he threw 10 pitches - nine strikes - and put the Beavers down in order. A strikeout, ground ball and pop fly. Nice, loose and economical. Fastball topped out at 91 mph, and one of his curves dropped over the plate at 77 mph.
- After an eight-pitch walk, Bedard got two lazy fly balls and an infield single off Matt Tuiasosopo's glove. With men on first and second, Bedard got an easy two-hop ground ball to short to end the second inning. He threw 17 pitches in the inning - 12 strikes - and has now thrown 27 pitches, total.
- The Rainiers grab a lead using patience - walks to Brad Nelson, Greg Halman and Mike Wilson, plus a single by Adam Moore, and Tacoma is ahead, 1-0.
- Bedard began the third inning with a strikeout, then fell behind one out. Catcher Chris Stewart then beat out a full-swing bunt, outfielder Cedric Hunter, 3-0, threw him four consecutive strikes and got a pop up to third base. He finished the inning with a line drive to center field, caught by Halman. In the third inning: 18 pitches, 12 strikes, for a total of 45.
- After getting ahead against most hitters, Bedard walked the leadoff Beaver in the fourth inning with his 51st pitch. He went 3-2 to cleanup hitter Craig Cooper, then struck out him out looking. Bedard has now thrown more pitches in a game than at any time since last July and may be tiring a bit. He got a double play groujnd ball to third, but when Tuiasosopo bobbled it, they could only get topping a ball that rolled 40 feet and stopped. With DH Kyle Phillips at the plate, Bedard got a full count fly ball for the out. In the fourth, 22 pitches, 12 strikes. Bedard has thrown 67 pitches.
- Top of the fifth inning: Bedard takes the mound, but Chris Seddon is warming up for Tacoma.
- Another leadoff Beaver walked on five pitches, and No. 9 hitter Luis Durango bunted for a single on Bedard's 75th pitch. Clearly, Bedard is tiring and his command is wobbling. A sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third base - and after 4 1/3 innings and 81 pitches - 51 strikes - Bedard was lifted. Seddon now pitching.