OAKLAND -- Joe Beimel had to actually throw pitches to get outs Wednesday in his second appearance with the Mariners, but the veteran left-hander didn't need a lot of them in an efficient eight-pitch inning against the Angels.
Beimel picked David Freese off at first base on Tuesday to record an out without ever throwing plateward, so the 36-year-old got his first four outs of the year on just eight tosses. He and the Mariners will take that production, which is all the more amazing for a reliever who hadn't appeared in a Major League game since 2011 due to Tommy John elbow surgery.
"That was a long time coming," Beimel said after finally getting a chance to retire batters on Wednesday. "I've been waiting for that a long time. It felt good to be back out there."
Beimel came up with the Pirates in 2001-03 with Lloyd McClendon as his manager and was a workhorse with the Dodgers from 2006-08 and Rockies in 2009-10 before his arm problems kicked in. First-year Mariners manager McClendon values the veteran presence he brings to the bullpen and liked what he saw on the mound Wednesday.
"He did a nice job, even with no pickoffs," McClendon said with a smile. "One thing with Beimel, you talk about evaluating in Spring Training. You've got to be careful. I think you saw he turned it up a little bit last night. He was down in the zone, had good sink, threw some good breaking balls. In the spring, he wasn't quite the same. Particularly with veteran players, you've got to be real careful with your evaluation. I thought he did a real nice job last night."
McClendon said even coming back off a two-year absence following Tommy John surgery, he had reason to trust the veteran.
"Check the book," he said, referring to Beimel's past history. "The book won't lie. Those numbers are going to be where they should be."