Left-hander Erik Bedard made his first start on Wednesday against the Washington Nationals since his scheduled start was bumped back by two days due to back spasms.
The lefty allowed four runs on six hits over six innings. He walked one and struck out seven while throwing 92 pitches, 62 strikes. It marked Bedard’s first outing this season that he allowed more than two earned runs.
Three of the four runs that Bedard allowed came from the long ball. The lefty allowed one to Ian Desmond in the second frame. Bedard went on to retire 11 straight batters, which included seven whiffs, before giving up back-to-back homers in the sixth. Bedard allowed just one home run over his first seven starts of the season (35.0 innings). The first run scored on a RBI ground out by Ryan Zimmerman in the first inning. Bryce Harper scored the run after tripling off the right field wall with one out.
Barajas Showing Signs of Breaking Out of Slow Start
Both Rod Barajas and Clint Barmes are hitting below .200 on the season, but Barajas has shown signs at the plate of breaking out of the slump to start the season. The catcher went deep for the second time in five games Monday, and four of his last six hits have gone for extra bases. Barajas entered Wednesday’s game with an .821 OPS in May, after a .406 OPS in April.
“We didn’t bring those guys in here to hit 40 home runs and hit .320,” General Manager Neal Huntington said. “We brought those guys in here to be stabilizing veteran presences, guys in the middle of our field defensively.”
“There’s going to be recovery here. [Hitting Coach] Gregg [Ritchie] and [Pirates Manager] Clint [Hurdle] continue to work with these guys. There’s no question that we want more production than they have been offensively…Rod’s starting to get some hits. Clint is showing signs, but there’s no doubt that we need these guys to turn a corner. But again, we need them to be what we expected them to be. We knew what they were going to be offensively coming in, they weren’t signed to come in and be difference makers for us. They were signed to come in and stabilize the defensive diamond, to be positive clubhouse presences. Both have done that.”
Lincoln’s Change in Mentality
Right-hander Brad Lincoln allowed two runs on four hits over six innings during his spot start on Monday in Miami. And before that start, Lincoln posted just an 0.63 ERA out of the bullpen over 14.1 innings. The righty has spent parts of three seasons in the Majors, but right now is pitching the best he has in his professional career.
“Don’t be afraid to fail,” Lincoln said of his mentality. “I think that when I first got up here the last couple years, I was kind of a little timid about finding the plate, maybe getting hit around a little bit. Now it’s just, let it go and I’m going to come right at you. If you beat me, you beat me. If not, good things will happen. So far, so good for me this year. Things have been working out.”