News Forum Blogs Roster Players Schedule Depth chart Stats Videos Photos

Seattle Mariners News

News » Bedard leaves A's bedazzled

Bedard leaves A's bedazzled

Bedard leaves A's bedazzled
OAKLAND, Calif. Compliments were being dished around the diamond by new general manager Jack Zduriencik after his surprising Mariners had completed their first sweep of the season.

With happy voices echoing from behind the clubhouse door after a 1-0 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Sunday afternoon, Zduriencik stood in a corridor and praised many of the new faces who have come in and transformed a franchise in serious trouble not long ago.

And some of his most heartfelt praise was saved for a left-handed pitcher who doesn't qualify as "new" to this team, but appeared reborn with each devastating curveball he threw in the midafternoon sunshine.

This wasn't the first time Erik Bedard has pitched for the Mariners . But to those watching him go blow-to-blow with a young A's hurler making a no-hit bid, the Bedard still standing at the end looked every bit the staff ace who was missing-in-action the past 12 months.

"I've been with him just since spring training," Zduriencik said. "But even when I met him in the wintertime, and the times we've been together in spring training and what I've seen here, the kid's a good guy.

"He's got great stuff. He competed. He's shown that. Now you know why we went out and got this guy a couple of years ago. Because when he's right, he's a good pitcher. A very good pitcher."

The kind of pitcher who works one out into the ninth inning of a game in which allowing any runs at all would be a lethal mistake. When he had to stand firm, Bedard refused to budge, striking out seven and out-dueling young A's starter Trevor Cahill when it mattered.

David Aardsma notched the final two outs for the save, fanning Jason Giambi and then getting a fly out to left in a nine-pitch battle with Jack Cust with two runners on.

Cahill did not allow a hit until Adrian Beltre singled to center with one out in the seventh inning, prompting a loud ovation for the pitcher from the crowd of 12,127 at the Coliseum. Those cheers turned to groans moments later when Mike Sweeney laced a ball to left-center that got past stumbling outfielder Rajai Davis and allowed Beltre to score from first base.

It was all the room Bedard needed.

"You're aware, you see zeros," Bedard said of the no-hit bid. "You just try to do the same thing."

Bedard needed 63 pitches to get through the first four innings. He then threw only eight pitches in the fifth, seven in the sixth, 11 in the seventh and only nine in the eighth.

"I was just throwing strikes with all my pitches, that was pretty much it," he said. "I was trying to get them to chase when it was time and get them to hit it in play so our defense could take care of the rest."

Mariners catcher Rob Johnson said Bedard spotted his sinker well on both sides of the plate early on. Later, Johnson had Bedard drop in a plethora of curveballs and "nobody could hit him."

Only two A's managed hits, both singles, before a leadoff single to left by Ryan Sweeney in the ninth.

"I guess there's just more intensity because everybody's trying to get on base and score the first run," Bedard said. "But it's really exciting."

It took the Mariners three full months last year before recording a three-game sweep against a terrible San Diego Padres team on the final weekend in June. Last year's team had two chances to finish a three-game sweep in April, losing 7-0 to the Rays in one finale and 10-5 to the Angels in another.

This time, Bedard and the Mariners put their collective foot down.

Zduriencik, like his team's coaching staff, is trying hard not to overemphasize the fast start. But it's tough for anyone not to notice that, with a strikeout-tossing Bedard and Felix Hernandez fronting the rotation, the Mariners have put together a nice little run everyone assumed would happen a year ago.

"He came out and pitched like a champion," Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said of Bedard. "That's as good as I've seen him in a while. It's a step in the right direction, obviously, coming off of where he was last year."

And if nothing else happens for this team, that's significant enough. That 12 months, five traded players and one shoulder surgery later, Erik Bedard has finally arrived in Seattle.

Geoff Baker: 206-464-8286 or

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: April 15, 2009

Seattle Mariners Photos
All the latest Seattle Mariners Photos Store photographs. Major League Baseball MLB.
The most recent photo
Add to Google
Add to My Yahoo!
Subscribe in NewsGator Online
Add to Windows Live

Copyright ©, Inc. All rights reserved 2008.