Remember when Andrew Miller was producing some solid, if not outstanding, starts at the beginning of his Red Sox career? While his ability to enter a battered rotation and provide some assistance was notable, so too was the fact that he was doing it against some of the game's worst offenses.
Eventually, after going 2-0 with a 3.06 ERA in starts against San Diego, Pittsburgh and Houston, there was a correction when Miller began to face American League teams. He had a 7.15 ERA in five subsequent starts against AL opponents.
Erik Bedard is in a very different situation in his young career with the club. However, he also made three starts to begin things with Boston against offenses that fall into the poor-to-average range statistically (Cleveland, Minnesota, Tampa Bay) in the AL. All the Sox can hope for is that there is not a correction for the lefty when he faces Texas on Monday night.
It's really an apples-to-oranges comparison. Bedard has been pitching in the AL all season, is a veteran of AL East warfare and even shut down the Rangers in his last start against them back in May. However, he is just reaching the apex of his recovery from a sprained left knee, a recovery that has seen his pitch count increase with the Red Sox from 70 to 90 to 102.
Stepping to the mound at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington represents the first significant test for Bedard in a Boston uniform, just as Miller's departure from interleague play did for him.
Texas ranks second to Boston in the AL in terms of team average (.278 to .277) and is third behind the Sox and Yanks in almost every other major offensive category. And the Rangers do so much of their damage in their home park, where they bat .293 as a team and own an .852 OPS, compared to .262 and .713 on the road.
Bedard is as close to 100 percent as he has been since being traded to Boston. That knee, and his ability to avoid the "correction," will be put to the test Monday night.