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May 30, 2008 at 10:50 PM

Silva buries team early

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Say goodbye to the two-game winning streak. The Mariners actually outscored the Detroit Tigers 4-0 after the top of the first inning. But those seven runs in the first allowed by Carlos Silva ensured a 7-4 loss for the home side. The Mariners played hard in this game, for what that’s worth. When your pitcher gets smacked around like Silva did in an 0-5 month of May, no amount of hard work is going to overcome that.
“Nothing was moving today,” Silva said of his pitches. “Nothing. I felt good in the bullpen. I felt really good. Out on the mound, I felt nothing.”
And he produced nothing except a lot of boos as he left the mound just 34 pitches in.
Mariners manager John McLaren seemed at a loss to explain how his starting pitchers — four of them now, save for Erik Bedard — have been demolished by Detroit this season. McLaren said he’s asked pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre to review footage of the game to see whether the Tigers had an idea of what was coming before Silva threw it.
Silva didn’t think so.
In the end, the Mariners scored four runs to make it interesting. But they also had only five hits all night and that wasn’t going to be enough.
“It limits you quite a bit,” McLaren said of the early 7-0 deficit. “You certainly don’t want to give up any outs. But on the other side of the coin, you want to stay aggressive. It’s a tall order to come back from seven down in the first.”
Too tall on this night.
Funny enough, R.A. Dickey managed to get hitters out even though his knuckleball wasn’t at its best. He rated it a 5 or 6 out of 10. What saved him? His sinker. The pitch that’s usually Silva’s bread-and-butter.
Dickey drew some laughs when he said he was forced to “knuckle-up” and be more fine early in counts.
“They’re a pretty aggressive club,” he said. “I didn’t get deep in the counts because they were swinging early at the knuckleball.”
So, he made sure the pitches he made early on weren’t going to be driven 400 feet. Sounds easy. But anyone who’s watched the first four meetings between these clubs so far knows it’s not. Back to the old drawing board for the Mariners.

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