Originally posted on Raise the Jolly Roger!  |  Last updated 8/7/12

Erik Bedard was brilliant on Monday night, leading the Bucs to a 4-0 win over Arizona to start this 11-game homestand off on the right foot.

Bedard was as good as he’s ever been in a Pirates uniform. He had all his pitches working for swings-and-misses, and for what seemed like the first time in forever he had great command and was getting ahead of almost every hitter. Erik missed a 1-2-3 inning only ONCE in his seven frames of work; that was in the second when he worked around a leadoff double. He allowed just one other hit, but that was quickly erased when Starling Marte GUNNED down Paul Goldschmidt when he foolishly tried to stretch a single into a double. That was our first chance to see Marte’s arm, and it was pretty darn impressive. Goldschmidt was out by roughly 20 feet.

Arizona starter Wade Miley didn’t quite match Bedard’s effort, but was pretty good himself. His defense, however, was not, and that’s what did the DBacks in. Andrew McCutchen looped a leadoff single in the fourth inning, but sprinted to second when CF Chris Young bobbled the ball. Cutch made it thanks to a bad throw, but the throw bounced away so he got right up from his slide and went to third. The hustle paid off, as Gaby Sanchez knocked him in with a groundout to break up the 0-0 tie.

Bedard kept on dealing, but the Pirates couldn’t add on for him despite putting a bunch of men on base and in scoring position. They hit into some more poorly time DP’s today, but luckily that didn’t come back to bite them. Arizona finally provided some more help in the eighth, when a couple ground balls snuck through and a few more went off the gloves of Diamondback infielders.

Jason Grilli tossed a 1-2-3 eighth to keep the 1-0 lead intact, and once the Bucs had added insurance Chad Qualls came on for the ninth and was impressive again.

It’s great to start off the homestand with a win, especially with a great outing from Bedard that helped them top Arizona’s ace. Erik has now been good in three of four starts since the break, so there’s legitimate reason to think he’s coming around. He also has a pretty tidy 2.38 ERA at home.

Meanwhile, the Reds lost, so the Pirates gained a game and are right back to where they were before the weekend in Cincinnati. They still trail Atlanta by a half game for the first wild card spot and lead the Cardinals by two and a half for the second spot.

Pirates 4, DBacks 0 / Box / 2012 Record: 62-46 / Next: Tuesday, vs. DBacks, 7:05

MVP: Bedard (+.407) / LVP: Harrison (-.204) / Key play: Cutch’s single + 2 errors

©2012 Raise the Jolly Roger. All Rights Reserved.

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