NOTE: 5:31 p.m.: One of you asked me for the context of one of Erik Bedard’s quotes today. Why don’t you just listen to his entire session with reporters right here on this audio clip. Enjoy.
Most interesting part of this 8-5 win by the Mariners, for me at least, was seeing Mark Lowe get up to 95 m.p.h. twice and then hit 96 m.p.h. on his final three pitches of the day. Gave up a leadoff double in the ninth, then settled down to get a flyout to center, a strikeout and a pop fly to right. I caught up with Lowe just as he was getting ready to board the team bus back to Peoria.
“That’s kind of the whole idea of spring training,” he said. “You want to work your way up and then kind of ease into the season if you can.”
Lowe told me he’s felt stronger every time out and that today was the best he’s felt. Mid-90s heat? This team could certainly use some of that heading into the season.
So, that was the Lowe story.
The Erik Bedard story? Not much to write home about. The Mariners certainly didn’t give up five players for a guy who’s going to serve up a 400-foot bomb every inning. Like I said, I’ll stick with the Arizona air theory for now. I just can’t believe a pitcher who was this good last season could be this bad so quickly. Something else is going on. I’ll withold further judgement until we leave Arizona.
Mariners mananger John McLaren confided afterwards that Bedard’s words to him upon leaving the game were that he’s glad to be getting out of here. The thin air certainly was not kind. He finishes with a 8.63 earned run average and nine home runs allowed, compared to 10 strikeouts. How’s that for a line?
Let’s see if he can flip the switch by next Monday.
McLaren liked a couple of the hot-and-runs he saw. Also thought Willie Bloomquist could have caught up to the inside-the-park homer and a triple, both off the Bedard. Bloomquist is still rusty from that quad injury.
Most of the team leaves here at noon tomorrow. Felix Hernandez stays behind to pitch against the San Diego Padres. McLaren said he’s working on his final roster. From what I saw today, Lowe will make this team. With Brandon Morrow’s status somewhat shaky, another late-inning flamethrower won’t hurt.