Erik Bedard threw a two-inning simulated game Saturday and will likely start for the Mariners next weekend against the Tampa Bay Rays if there are no ill effects from his outing.
BOSTON — Erik Bedard threw a two-inning simulated game Saturday and will likely start for the Mariners next weekend against the Tampa Bay Rays if there are no ill effects from his outing.
Bedard said he felt good in throwing roughly 40 pitches with batters standing in to face him before Seattle’s game against the Boston Red Sox. Afterward, manager Eric Wedge said he doesn’t see a need for a second simulated game — as long as Bedard feels fine Sunday morning.
Shawn Kelley also threw two 15-pitch innings in between Bedard’s sessions and looked surprisingly strong. So much so the team now may send him out on a minor-league rehabilitation assignment rather than bringing him to New York City next week for more practice sessions.
“Going in, I thought all along that I’d have to do that,” Kelley said. “That I’d go with the team to New York and throw another sim game. But they kind of gave me the impression today that it might not have to happen.”
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Mariners pitching coach Carl Willis watched both pitchers closely and said they are far enough along that additional bullpen sessions and simulated games aren’t really needed.
“In Bedard’s case, we’re just looking at him and making sure the delivery’s the same,” Willis said. “If there is a fortunate side to all of this it’s that it was a knee (injury) and not an arm. … The ball came out of his hand, all of his pitches did what they do during a game. So, with him, it’s delivery and not favoring the knee.
“With Kelley, it’s looking for that life, repeating that same arm slot. And commanding the ball, And today, he did those things.”
Mariners hitting coach Chris Chambliss said he’s as frustrated as anyone by the team’s lack of offense this season. The Mariners entered Saturday hitting a major-league worst .224 with an equally bad .289 on-base percentage.
But Chambliss, who played for World Series champions in New York and losing teams in Cleveland and Atlanta, said he can’t allow himself to go into a funk over what’s happened this season. And Chambliss agrees with Wedge that the team’s hitters have to do a better job of being tougher.
“Their talent has to match the talent that’s against them,” Chambliss said. “And that’s where that mental toughness part comes in. … Wedgie’s right when he talks about toughness. That’s mental. That’s what he’s talking about. Your mental state of mind.
“So that you’re not intimidated by who you’re playing. You’re not intimidated by the pitcher you’re facing. Right now, we’re in Fenway Park playing one of the best teams in baseball. Our guys can’t be intimidated by that. They have to go out there thinking they can win. Thinking they can be successful. That’s what Wedgie’s talking about when he says we have to be tougher. We do have to be tougher.”
• Ichiro’s two stolen bases Friday gave him 26 on the year and marked the 11th straight season he’s had at least 25. He’s just the 18th player in major-league history to record at least 25 steals in 11 straight seasons.
• The four double plays induced by Felix Hernandez on Friday tied a club record achieved six times previously.
For the record: W-L: 43-57 W PCT: .430
AL West: 11-18
AL East: 11-13
AL Cent: 12-17
Extra inngs: 5-4