"I helped make sure he only had to pitch in games he could save," Tekulve said. "We really complement each other well . . . He needs his rest, I need to pitch."
Bedrosian also is comfortable with the arrangement, which has allowed him to rack up 14 saves and a win in his last 15 appearances. He said he never has had such a streak.
"I usually start out good, then dive," Bedrosian said. "But it's just like earlier this year, when we were losing - don't get too high, don't get too low . . . Earlier in the year, the fastball wasn't popping as good."
Bedrosian said the key to his remaining effective is staying out of situations in which he regularly pitches as much as two or three innings. Tekulve said the key to his remaining effective is not going more than three days without pitching.
Tekulve keeps a Phillies calendar taped to the side of his locker room cubicle. On it he records the number of innings he pitches each day, in black marker, and if he doesn't pitch, he marks the day out with a big "X." Monday afternoon, he was looking at four consecutive "X" marks, thanks to last Thursday's off day and three consecutive wins in which the Phils' starters averaged better than eight innings apiece. Tekulve was eager to get in a game.
Before missing those three games, Tekulve had made 30 appearances in 49 games - a 99-game pace for the season. He said he would welcome a chance to top 90 appearances again, as he did for Pittsburgh in 1978 (91) and '79 (94).
"The only limits you have are things you don't know about," Tekulve said. ''I've pitched in 90 games before; I know I can do that. The arm responds a little bit better (than it did in the '70s). And as I got older, I got smarter. I've become very pitch-efficient. I only throw nine or 10 pitches an inning now. I've learned it doesn't do a lot of good to waste a lot of pitches. Sooner or later, you're going to have to throw the pitch you need to get the guy out."
Of course, in '78 and '79, Tekulve was the Pirates' closer, chalking up 31 saves in each of those seasons. "I was getting the credit then (as Bedrosian is now)," Tekulve said. "I'm paying back (ex-Pirates setup men) Grant Jackson and Enrique Romo."
BEST OF THE REST
* Not much is going on tonight. You might want to catch the Dodgers-Braves at 5:35 on WTBS, just to see what is going on with Gene Garber. The ex-Phils reliever is 8-3 through the Braves' first 57 games, putting him on a pace to win 23 games in relief.
Cards at Phils
7:30 p.m., PRISM, WCAU Radio(1210)