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Daily coverage of the Mariners during the season and all year long.

May 4, 2008 at 3:32 PM

Mariners in a death spiral

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A look at Mariano Rivera, coming out from the bullpen to the tune of “Enter the Sandman” to finish off the Mariners in the ninth inning of this 8-2 loss. J.J. Putz was also going to get some mop-up work, but he had a slight irritation on his finger from his extra bullpen sessions so the team didn’t push it. Putz is available to close games, just not do mop-up duty. Anyhow, a fifth straight defeat for Seattle. The M’s are in a death spiral now and they have to pull out in the next few days.
No other way to put it. As I write this, the M’s are in sole possession of last place in the AL West. Texas is losing, so the M’s could be tied with the Rangers going into this week’s four-game set with Texas. But that will also mean the M’s will begin Monday 5 1/2 games behind second place Oakland and — if today’s score holds — 6 1/2 games behind the first place Angels.
Start getting this far behind multiple teams this early and it takes the entire season to catch up.
Carlos Silva didn’t think he pitched all that badly today. But he admitted to making some mistakes, leaving some balls up and getting crushed by the Yankees when he did. I asked Silva about the playoff teams he was on in Minnesota and how they avoided losing streaks.
The M’s, as we know, had four losing streaks of at least six games last season — including a nine-gamer that finished them off. Silva told me he’s seen some things here that have him concerned.

“One thing I see here is too many changes from us – the players,” Silva said. “We do one thing wrong and we start changing a lot of things.”
He added: “I’m not going to change anything. I’m going to keep using the exact same routine.”
A routine can be from hitters or pitchers. Jose Vidro agreed with Silva and so did Adrian Beltre. They’ve seen hitters taking too many bad swings at pitches, trying to do things they aren’t always capable of doing in order to generate offense.
“I hope my team doesn’t get crazy and start changing everything,” Silva said. “We have top stay strong. When you have a bad game, that’s when the good players come out. That’s when the strong players step up.”
Anytime now, folks. John McLaren asked for exactly that when he yelled at the players after Saturday’s loss. No such tirade this time. He’s already played that hand.
“The positive thing is that we’re getting off the road trip and out of New York,” said McLaren, whose team dropped five straight after winning its trip opener in Cleveland. “We need some good home cooking.”
If they don’t get it, this team may be cooked. And this long road trip will seem short in comparison to what a long homestand, filled with disappointed and increasingly angry fans could hold in store.



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