Out a month with a strained triceps, lefty reliever Charlie Furbush was recalled from AAA Tacoma and was to be available for the Mariners’ game Friday night against the Minnesota Twins.
To make room, the Mariners sent down right-handed reliever Shawn Kelley.
Furbush didn’t exactly dominate in his five rehab starts in Tacoma, giving up four earned runs in six innings (6.00 ERA) with seven strikeouts. But the need for left-handed relief apparently was judged more valuable.
Furbush, 26, was hurt July 17 at Kansas City after retiring the only batter he faced. Before the injury, he was 4-2, 2.17 ERA in 37.1 IP with 47 strikeouts in 34 relief appearances. Lefties were hitting .155 (9×58) with 27 strikeouts against him.
Kelley was 2-3 with a 3.41 ERA in 34.1 IP in 36 relief appearances.
In post-perfecto news, Tampa manager Joe Maddon heatedly denied before the Rays’ game in Anaheim Thursday that his seventh-inning argument and ejection Wednesday had anything to do with Felix Hernandez’s attempt for a perfect game.
“It had everything to do with us trying to win the game,” Maddon told the Tampa Bay Times. “All game I’d been hearing how big (umpire Rob Drake’s strike zone) was against left-hand hitters, and furthermore, I’m listening to our guys, and there was kind of an abrasiveness in the way it was handled from the ump to our players, which I didn’t like, either.”
Mariners manager Eric Wedge, among others, assumed that the length of Maddon’s home-plate tirade, which took place after he was ejected stepping out of the dugout, was a stall tactic.
Said Wedge, smiling, after the game: “I yelled at him to get his ass out of there.”
Maddon said when he had it after a seventh-inning pitch to Matt Joyce was that was called a strike. Replays showed he was correct.
“And on top of all that, that game’s 1-0,” he said. “And on top of all that, we’re trying to win a pennant. So it had nothing to do with delaying the other guy.”
Maddon said the other Hernandez’s pursuit of history was not his concern.
“With all due respect, I don’t care about that whatsoever, whether he pitches a perfect game, a no-hitter, whatever,” Maddon said. “I have no interest at all in the success of the Seattle Mariners. I have zero interest in that. So however it’s perceived from the other side, that is a matter of perception, how they’re going to look at things.
“From my perspective, it’s about the Rays, period. And what’s right for our guys at a specific moment. And I’ll always defend our guys first as opposed to trying to put an opposition member into some form of the history book.”
Maddon said there would have been nothing wrong with a Rays player trying to bunt for a hit. That would go against one of baseball’s so-called unwritten rules in dealing with a no-hitter, but those rules are “archaic,” he said.
“A lot of that stuff to me is ill-advised, ill-informed, just ill,” Maddon said. “Why is bunting a non-masculine way of getting on first base? I don’t understand that.”