Sports Outside the Beltway

Bedard’s standard

Dan Haren – Game Scores > 75 – 1 / Avg Game Score – 60 / Best 3 game stretch – 216
Johann Santanna – Game Scores > 75 – 3 / Avg Game Score – 59 / Best 3 game stretch – 196
Jeremy Guthrie – Game Scores > 4 – 5 / Avg Game Score – 61.7 / Best 3 game stretch – 213
Mark Buehrle – Game Scores > 75 – 2 / Avg Game Score – 57 / Best 3 game stretch – 208
Erik Bedard – Game Scores > 75 – 7 / Avg Game Score – 61 / Best 3 game stretch – 253
John Lackey – Game Scores > 75 – 1 / Avg Game Score – 55 / Best 3 game stretch – 197
Chad Gaudin – Game Scores > 75 – 2 Avg Game Score 51 Best 3 game stretch – 196
Justin Verlander – Game Scores > 75 – 2 / Avg Game Score – 57.5 / Best 3 game stretch – 216
Josh Beckett – Game Scores > 75 – 1 / Avg Game Score – 57 / Best 3 game stretch – 197

(The number of Game Scores above 75; Average Game Score and best 3 game stretch for the current 10 leaders in AL ERA. Here’s a definition of game score. Game score is a measure of a pitcher’s dominance; 75 was an arbitrary cut off marking the best pitched games.)

Friday night’s game held some drama for Oriole ace Erik Bedard: He had a no-hitter through five innings again Oakland. But then

… Ellis, quickly ended the drama by hammering Bedard’s 1-0 pitch over the scoreboard in left field.

Left fielder Jay Payton raced back and looked as though he thought he might have a play for a second, but the ball disappeared into the seats. Bedard barely flinched, quickly turning to plate umpire Bruce Froemming to call for another ball before Ellis had even touched home.

The possible disappointment on missing out on a no-hitter, though, shouldn’t obscure a different truth.

Erik Bedard is having an incredible streak (and a fine season).

Over his last three games – 23 innings – he has allowed a single run, six hits and 5 walk. He has also struck out 33, saw his ERA drop by half a run and faced only 7 batters above the minimum. His dominance can be measured by the cumulative game score of 253 he has accumulated over those three starts.

So how has Bedard’s season compared with other leading pitchers in the American league? I isolated certain aspects of game score and Bedard ranks with the top pitchers in terms of dominance and consistency.

No other AL pitcher has dominated as Bedard has this year over a three game stretch. His average game score is not the highest – he’s had a few bad outings – but it is close the top – including a no -decision as recent as July 2. But he also has accumulated the greatest number of game scores 75 or greater among American league pitchers. The latest three game stretch may well mark a peak for him this year.

The Orioles are amazed.

In winning his fifth straight decision, Bedard, who is now 9-4 with a 3.12 ERA, allowed just Ellis’ home run and walked three while striking out 11. How dominant has Bedard been? In his past three outings, spanning 23 innings, Bedard has surrendered just one earned run and allowed only six hits. He also has struck out 33 batters during that span.

“What the guy is doing now, is he’s dominating,” Orioles interim manager Dave Trembley said. “He’s making it look easy. He’s throwing all his pitches for strikes. When he’s pitching, the guys know they have a chance to win.”

Hall of Famer, Jim Palmer is impressed too.

“I just think it’s an evolution of pitching three or four years and having overwhelming talent,” said Palmer, who has more wins (268) than any other Oriole. “There’s never been a doubt about that.”

(h/t Sox and Dawgs)

Cookin’ with Gas looks at the stats for more than a year and concludes

I think Erik Bedard has a darn good argument as one of the best five pitchers in MLB right now. In fact, the only one I see who is really better (when taking things such as league and park into effect) is Johan Santana.

Throughout the year Bedard has been one of the top strikeout pitchers. He currently leads in that category of Johann Santanna (by a significant margin). The Orioles may be having a disappointing season, but Bedard has been about as good as a pitcher could be.

There may not be much to root for at Camden Yards this year, however Erik Bedard’s continued success is great to see.

Crossposted at Soccer Dad.

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