Bedard Rehab Start Liveblog
I’ll be honest: as nice as it is to see Bedard so close to the majors after his latest injury, this feels a bit anticlimactic. We’d hoped that the team could hang around .500 until Cliff Lee got back and then hang near the Rangers until the M’s ‘real’ rotation took over. Eh, 1 for 2.
Still, my excitement is building a bit. Let’s face it: this team’s been pretty bland in 2010, and another good player -another reason to tune in – helps the M’s watchability. Beyond that, it can give us a glimpse of what the team could’ve and should’ve been: good. Jeff Sullivan summed it up this way at LL last night, “Watching the Mariners right now makes me feel like I’m watching a successful version of the Mariners. A dangerous version of the Mariners.”
Erik Bedard is a guy who can help make the Mariners look dangerous, and I’m looking forward to watching him pitch against Texas or Boston or Tampa this year. All the more so because Lee will likely be gone, and it’ll again be tough to shut out the context, the lack of impact players and the holy-#$!@,-Josh-Wilson-is-starting-at-1B of it all. Bedard, like Branyan, is here to help make the medicine of 2010 go down easier. He cost us nothing in talent and very little in Salary. If he’s healthy, he’s amazing, and he’d be another small green shoot of ‘good’ in the scorched-earth landscape of 2010.
Figures. It’s raining – drizzling, really – as I type this in Cheney. Only Erik Bedard faces rehab setbacks from the weather. In July. I’m still pretty confident that we’ll get this game started, but I’m going to run down and make sure he doesn’t slip on slick dugout surfaces. Good luck, Erik.
Game on! Erik breezes through the first, retiring the Portland Beavers in order. FB was around 90, and that big, damnably-difficult-to-hit curve was on view as well. 1 K, a pop-up and a grounder to SS.
Bedard warms up:
Bedard faces Sean Kazmar of Portland:
2nd inning starts with an 8 pitch walk, then a fairly deep fly ball to left, a can of corn to CF and a GB that got through both 3B and SS for an infield hit. With 2 outs, Bedard is in some semblance of trouble. But Bedard gets Craig Stansberry on a harmless chopper to SS, and that’s that.
FB 89-90, nice curve ball, and one cutter/2-seamer. This Portland line-up has quite a few lefties in it, which seems fairly masochistic.
Bedard K’s Luis Durango on a FB (88mph), then gets Cedric Hunter to pop up to Tui at 3B (who made a hell of a sliding catch after Moore had trouble seeing it). Kazmar hit a line drive to straightaway CF, but Halman reels it in. 3IP, 1 IF hit, 1 BB, 2Ks so far. It’s not exactly vintage Bedard, but he’s pitching well.
Bedard’s through 4, but his command comes and goes. This Portland line-up is fairly forgiving, so even though he had 2 on and went 3-0 on Kyle Phillips, he was able to get out of it. Another cheap hit – this one a 35 foot swinging bunt. The R’s also had a chance to turn two, but Tui bobbled the ball at 3B (they still looked like they turned it in time) before settling and getting the lead runner at 2B.
Bedard walks the lead-off man in the 5th, then Luis Durango follows with a perfect bunt base hit. Cedric Hunter attempts the sacrifice, but Bedard still can’t find the plate. Hunter bunts a ball up out of the strike zone for a successful sacrifice. That’ll be Bedard’s last hitter. He leaves with 2 on, 1 out in the 5th. Around 80 pitches for Erik; Chris Seddon takes over.
Seddon should’ve gotten out of it. Runners on 2nd and 3rd with 1 out and Seddon got an easy GB to 3B, but Tui booted it and a run scored. Seddon then induced two infield pop-ups and we’re tied at 1. Bedard’s final line = 4 1/3 IP, 1R, 3BB, 3Ks.
One final shot: