Boston Red Sox: Why Erik Bedard Deserves the No. 3 Spot on the Playoff Rotation

Andre KhatchaturianCorrespondent IIISeptember 4, 2011

BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 3:  Erik Bedard #23 of the Boston Red Sox throws a pitch in the first inning against the Texas Rangers at Fenway Park on September 3, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
Darren McCollester/Getty Images

With names like Adrian Gonzalez, David Ortiz, Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia and Carl Crawford, it's easy to see why the Red Sox are feared more for their bats than their arms. 

They're producing runs at an alarming rate, and it's probably the main reason why they've been so dominant this season.

Their pitching, on the other hand, despite being very potent, has not been dominant. In fact, the Red Sox are having a competition right now for the third arm in their playoff rotation between Andrew Miller, Erik Bedard and John Lackey.

All three of these pitchers has made a strong case to be the third man.

Andrew Miller has pitched exceptionally well on the road, going 5-1 with a 3.32 ERA, but his walks-to-strikeouts ratio is nearly one-to-one and the Red Sox won't want to put in an inexperienced pitcher in October when they need battle-tested veterans.

John Lackey has playoff experience, as he's pitched in Game 7 of the World Series. He has 12 wins this season, and he's a proven big-game pitcher who can get the job. That being said, he's had major struggles against Texas throughout his career, with a 12-13 record and a 6.04 ERA.

He hasn't fared that much better against the Yankees either, with a record of 8-9 and a 4.69 ERA. Because of his inconsistencies against the best of baseball these past few seasons, Lackey should at best be the fourth starter.

This leaves Erik Bedard as the best candidate for the No. 3 spot. He was acquired at the trading deadline this season from the lowly Seattle Mariners. Because of his time in Seattle, his record is very misleading as to how he's actually performed this year. He is 5-9, but he has a strong ERA of 3.50 and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 119 to 43.

He recently had a solid outing against the Texas Rangers, getting a win in a 12-7 victory for Boston. It's also important to note that Bedard's ERA could be even lower if it wasn't for such a tough start to the season in April. The Bedard now is far more different from the Bedard then. 

Throughout his career, Bedard has also kept the Yankees and Rangers at bay. He has a 4-5 record with a 4.32 ERA against the Yankees and a 5-4 record with a 3.49 ERA against the Rangers. 

These numbers are with atrocious teams like Baltimore and Seattle, too. 

Bedard is showing slow signs of improvement from his injury prone days. Having a few clutch performances in the postseason will be the best way to redeem himself. He has certainly pitched well enough to earn himself an opportunity to pitch in the postseason as the No. 3 pitcher in the Red Sox rotation.