By Larry LaRue The News Tribune
KANSAS CITY — Left-handed reliever Charlie Furbush got to the ballpark Wednesday thinking he was fine, warmed up, played catch and then threw off the mound.
Then he went on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left triceps.
Steve Delabar, who was told on his birthday Tuesday he’d been optioned to Tacoma, spent a day with his wife and family here and was heading for the airport Wednesday morning for a flight to Class AAA.
Instead, he was recalled by the Mariners and was in the bullpen against the Royals.
“It’s a strange game,” Delabar said. “I tried to look at (Tuesday) as a positive. I didn’t focus on being sent down, I thought about how great it was spending a day with my family and my wife.
“I was going to the airport and came to the ballpark, instead.”
Furbush came out of Tuesday’s game after two pitches when he felt ‘something different’ high on his left arm. After a quick battery of tests, he threw about 15 pitches in a covered batting cage and felt fine.
At the park Wednesday, Furbush threw from 120 feet before taking the mound.
“I felt nothing, no discomfort, no pain,” Furbush said. “I threw 8-10 pitches and felt good. “I decided I’d better amp it up a little and see, and when I threw about 90 per cent, I felt it.”
“I think I could have pitched through it, because it’s more discomfort than pain. But they were afraid I’d over compensate for it and hurt something else. So I’m shut down for 15 days and hopefully back right when I’m eligible.”
The Mariners hope so, too. Furbush, the 26-year-old acquired in last July’s Doug Fister trade, has gone 4-2 with a 2.17 earned run average in 34 appearances this season. He’s held opposing batters to a .147 batting average.
Delabar, 29, is 2-1 with a 4.18 ERA in 30 games.
Switch-hitter Justin Smoak began this series with 10 home runs batting left-handed, only one hitting from the right side — then hit a home run right-handed in each of the first two games. He’s homered in consecutive games seven times in his career, just the second time right-handed. … Earlier this season, Furbush put together the third longest consecutive scoreless streak by a reliever in franchise history with 222/3 innings. Closer Tom Wilhelmsen passed him Tuesday and began Wednesday’s game with a streak of 23 consecutive scoreless innings. Wilhelmsen’s run is also the longest active streak among American League pitchers. … After twice indicating John Jaso would play the next day in this series — then changing his mind — manager Eric Wedge has promised that the left-handed hitting Jaso will catch today’s series finale here. … Seattle began the night with a major league-leading 238 runs scored on the road, and dead last in the majors with 126 runs scored at home. The Mariners average 4.96 runs on the road, 2.86 runs a game at Safeco Field.
Larry LaRue, The News Tribune