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

April 19, 2009 at 6:13 PM

Sound the alarms: M’s have lost three out of four

Just kidding — no cause for panic, obviously. The Mariners still have a 2 1/2-game lead in the AL West, and any M’s fan is surely overjoyed about that, and by much of what this team has done in the first two weeks.
But the offense has got to be a growing concern. The Mariners have scored a grand total of three runs in those three defeats. The middle of the order isn’t producing. And, naturally, manager Don Wakamatsu expressed full confidence after Sunday’s 8-2 loss that the bats will come around.
“I believe in ths offense,” he said. “There’s a lot of guys that are pushing to try to do a lot of things. We’re going to score some runs — I believe that. It’s just a matter of being a little more patient.”
Here’s what he said about the M’s 3-4-5 hitters — Ken Griffey Jr., Adrian Beltre and Jose Lopez — who are hitting .206, .200 and .195, respectively.
“I think those guys are going to start to warm up. I think a lot of it is self-imposed pressure — guys trying to do too much. As we continue to play as a team, i think individually we won’t press as much.”
Wakamatsu also expressed ongoing confidence in Carlos Silva, who has now lost 17 of his last 18 decisions.
“Carlos himself is looking for a big year,” he said. “We’re heading in the right direction. His stuff is better. It’s just a matter of going out and having consistent starts.”
Mariners reliever Shawn Kelley, who limped off the field after working the ninth inning, is apparently OK. Kelley said he felt a cramp in his hamstring as he threw a pitch to Brandon Inge.
“I was dehydrated all day,” Kelley said. “It felt a little tight in my hamstring. It was nothing more than a cramp.”
One more note that highlights a good cause: Nikco Sports is offering a limited edition of a Ken Griffey Jr. “Welcome Back” baseball that will raise money for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Seattle and Portland. There will be 2,009 balls produced (including acrylic display case), and they will sell for $39.95. The ball will have panels recapping Griffey career highlights. To order, call 1-800-345-2868 or go to www.nikcosports.com.
Finally, here are the pitching matchups for the Tampa Bay series:
Jarrod Washburn (2-0, 1.29) vs. Andy Sonnanstine (0-1, 6.52) on Tuesday, Chris Jakubauskas (1-1, 3.86) vs. Jeff Niemann (0-2, 6.35) on Wednesday, Felix Hernandez (2-0, 4.26) vs. James Shields (2-1, 4.58) on Thursday.

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