The adrenalin that David Aardsma counts on was still there after not having pitched in a game since last year.
The Mariner closer knew it when he came out of the bullpen in Tacoma Tuesday in the eighth inning with the Cheney Stadium loudspeakers blaring Salivas “Ladies and Gentlemen.
Its Aardsmas theme entry song, played every time he enters a game at Safeco Field. For once, however, it did him wrong.
“It probably got me too amped up, Aardsma said Wednesday in describing his return to game action Tuesday after Januarys surgery on his left hip. `”It got me wanting to throw too hard, do too much.
Its not that Aardsma needed all that much help. He spent February and part of March on crutches, and only recently began a full throwing regimen.
“I was nervous and excited, he said of his return. “It was important to get the anxiety out of the system.
The return was less than an unqualified success. He threw one inning getting in 22 pitches (10 strikes) while giving up two hits, two walks and two runs.
“That (22-10) ratio is enough to get batters to back off the plate a little, Aardsma said with a laugh. “I was trying a little too hard, but Im trying to get after it.
Aardsma and manager Eric Wedge both said just the fact that Aardsma came out of the game healthy and that he had no hip pain was the most important part of the night.
He worked out before Wednesdays game against the Tigers and will do so again Thursday when the As come to play, Hell then rejoin Tacoma Friday for another inning of work. Seattle is thinking Aardsma will need three or four games at a minimum before hes ready, but the closer has his own ideas.
“Ill be ready as soon as I start making good solid pitches, he said. “When I can make one, then step back and make another. I cant afford to go out there where Im going to make two or three mistakes in a row.
Bedard, who is four starts into the season after having three shoulder surgeries in three years, hopes his manager is right.
“I don’t know if it (the shoulder) will ever be the way it used to be after three surgeries,” Bedard said after giving up three runs in five inning and taking a 3-2 loss to the Tigers. He’s now 0-4 this season. “You just have to work hard and hope good things happen.”
Bedard was delighted to get to five innings. He cites that as profess after being lifted in the fifth inning of his previous two starts. he did go five his first start of the season.
“It’s a matter of taking one step at a time,” he said. “Next time I’d like to get to six innings.”
Bedard was in trouble a lot Wednesday. He allowed five hits and five walks but just the one run. He got a lift from his replacement, David Pauley, who faced the minimum 12 batters over four innings, allowing just one hit.
The Mariners got a solo homer from Adam Kennedy to start the bottom of the ninth to get within a run at 3-2, but after Michael Saunders contributed a one-out double, Tigers’ closer Jose Valverde struck out Milton Bradley and rookie Carlos Peguero.
NOTES: Peguero, an outfielder who was called up Tuesday when first baseman Justin Smoak left the team on bereavement leave, was in the starting lineup Wednesday in left field. Perhaps because he was with the team for much of spring training, Peguero said he was fitting in with ease. “This is my family; this is my team, the 24-year-old rookie said. “They talk to me like Ive been here for a long time. Shawn Kelley, who is recovering from Tommy John-style ligament replacement surgery in his right elbow, is due to rejoin the team in the next couple of days. Hes been working out at the minor league complex in Arizona, but the Mariners feel the next stage of his rehab is to be with the team, so hell probably travel on the teams road trip starting in Detroit next Tuesday. If you were counting (dividing, actually) the Mariners increased their batting average by 12 points with their 15 hits Tuesday, from .217 to .229. The Mariners dont know when Smoak, whose father, Keith, died Tuesday, will be back with the team.