Darnell McDonald has seen his share of dominant lefties.

When McDonald made his major-league debut in 2004, he had to face up-and-coming Cleveland lefty Cliff Lee. The day after that, he had to face Cleveland ace CC Sabathia — and he played right field behind a Baltimore lefty named Erik Bedard.

Bedard that season was just rounding into the form that, within a few years, would make him one of the best lefthanded pitchers in baseball. By 2007, Bedard had compiled a 3.16 ERA and struck out 221 hitters while walking just 57 in 182 innings pitched.

By that time, McDonald had moved on. But he had a chance to see early what the rest of the American League East was going to have to endure later.

“When I did see him pitch, he was one of the best lefties in the game,” McDonald said. “Hopefully he can come over and do his thing.”

The Red Sox landed Bedard in a trade-deadline move from Seattle on Sunday afternoon, taking a calculated risk that the oft-injured lefty can recapture the magic of seasons past — the magic McDonald saw when he was a rookie.

“When I saw him, he was throwing 94-95 (miles per hour) with a good slider,” McDonald said. “He had three or four pitches that he could throw. It’s tough because I haven’t seen him pitch in a long time, but hopefully he can come over here and give us some innings and give us a boost.”

Red Sox pitching coach Curt Young met Bedard during the five-game series a group of All-Stars played in 2006 against a team made up of players from Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball — a team that also included Red Sox righty John Lackey.

Young will be charged with working with Bedard — and, more specifically, helping him iron out a between-starts routine that maximizes his chance to stay healthy down the stretch.

“I’ll have to get together with him and see what kind of routines he does and those type of things,” Young said. “I know he goes about his business the right way. I know health has been an issue for him, so hopefully I can help him.”

This, Bedard is 4-7 with a 3.45 ERA in 16 starts. Since going 28-16 with the Orioles in 2006-07, Bedard has gone 15-14 covering 41 starts with the Mariners while battling a variety of injuries.

 

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