Houston Astros pitcher Erik Bedard had a no-hitter going in Saturday evening's game against the Seattle Mariners, but with one out in the seventh inning, manager Bo Porter decided to relieve him of his duties.
UPDATE: Saturday, July 20, at 10:17 p.m. ET by Ian Hanford
The Astros lost to the Mariners 4-2, giving up one run and one hit from the bullpen after Bedard was pulled from the game.
---End of update---
It would have been a unique no-hitter had Bedard been able to maintain it. Seattle knotted the game at 2-2 in the Astros’ Minute Maid Park thanks to two unearned runs plated in the sixth.
The numbers got even more bizarre upon Bedard's exit.
Even though Bedard got Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager to pop out at the top of the inning, he walked his fifth batter of the game thereafter. The switch was then made to reliever Jose Cisnero.
The team's Twitter page noted that Bedard had registered a relatively high pitch count of 109 when he was pulled:
In the pitcher's defense, a big reason he threw so much was due to some of the brilliance he was flashing. The southpaw struck out 10 batters and pitched his way out of some difficult spots.
Bedard, did not allow a hit in his 6.1 IP. Was at 109 pitches when relieved.— Houston Astros (@astros) July 21, 2013
As if things couldn't get much worse for Houston—which sported the worst record in Major League Baseball at 33-62 entering the game—Cisnero was lit up for a two-run double by Michael Saunders, per Greg Johns of MLB.com:
Johns points out that Bedard was charged for the third run, which was earned, since he walked the eventual go-ahead run yielded by Cisnero:
Michael Saunders ends Astros' no-hit bid with two-run double to CF with two out in 7th off reliever Jose Cisnero. M's lead 4-2.— Greg Johns (@GregJohnsMLB) July 21, 2013
Porter's decision backfired, and the opportunity for a no-no went out the window for Bedard. While he and Houston wonder what could have been, Bedard ended up tagged with the team's latest loss.
Go-ahead run belongs to Bedard, who now is in line as losing pitcher with 3 runs allowed on night he didn't allow hit in 6 1/3.— Greg Johns (@GregJohnsMLB) July 21, 2013
Nevertheless, Bedard's game was certainly historic, which ESPN Stats & Info contextualized nicely:
He had lost his previous three decisions and was 3-6 in 2013 with a 4.61 ERA before Saturday's extraordinary effort.
Erik Bedard: 2nd pitcher in Live Ball Era to yield 3 + runs, allowing no hits in 6+ IP. Other was Andy Hawkins, 1990 Yankees at WhiteSox— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 21, 2013