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July 7, 2009 at 11:19 PM

Johnson on Bedard: “His stuff was electric.”

The bullpen will be a story to watch in this final week before the All-Star break, but the story on Tuesday night was the return of Erik Bedard, who lasted only four innings — but at least three of them were pretty impressive.
“His stuff was electric,” catcher Rob Johnson said.
His pitch count will move from 75 to 90 for his start Sunday, and then presumably he will be all set to return to normal in his first start after the break. A healthy Bedard, pitching like he did tonight, could mean the world for keeping the Mariners in contention (or, possibly, moving him in a deal).
“My arm feels good, so I’m ready to go,” Bedard said.
At one point, he had struck out six of seven batters. He finished with eight in four innings, an impressive total. Bedard will never, at least not this season, be a pitch-to-contact guy who goes deep into games on a regular basis. But if he gives six or seven innings on a regular basis, pitching like he did tonight, that’s pretty darn good. And it looks like that is what the Mariners took out of Tuesday night.
As manager Don Wakamatsu, who didn’t dare test Bedard with the fifth innings, said: “Good signs.”

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