Caught up with Jarrod Washburn earlier this afternoon and we had a nice chat in which he said all kinds of good things about the Mariners and Seattle. But now, he wants to put all of that behind him. He has to focus on getting the Detroit Tigers into the playoffs. Washburn admits that forgetting the Mariners won’t be easy — especially since he pitches against them Thursday night.
“I kind of want them to (be in the past),” he said. “I have to move on. Not that I’ll forget how great it was there, But for now and the time being, for me to be successful as a Tiger, I have to worry about just being a Tiger and moving on and trying to adjust.
“I guess I’m probably not fully adjusted yet. It will help when the Mariners leave town, I suppose. Because this is going to be awfully weird pitching against them.”
“Just because I spent this whole season rooting for every guy over there to get a hit, do well every time they stepped in the box,” he said. “And now I’m going to have to go out there, knowing exactly what every guy’s weakness is better than any other team. But at the same time, every guy that steps in that box is going to know exactly what I have to offer on the mound.”
Washburn said he isn’t going to change anything about his style, just because the Mariners know him so well.
“I don’t think so,” he said. “You just have to execute pitches. With this game, there’s not really secrets. There are so many scouting reports and video and everything out there that no matter who I’m facing, they pretty much know what I have to offer pitches-wise. It’s just a matter of going out and making them try to guess.”
Washburn is most looking forward to facing Rob Johnson.
“I just love that kid,” he said. “And having a better view of my pitches than anybody on that team, there will be absolutely no surprises for him.
“He told me I have to throw him the Dolphin at least once because he wanted to know what it looked like from the (batter’s) box.”
The “Dolphin” is that 67-70 mph slow curve that “flips” out of Washburn’s hand. He won’t throw it to just anybody because if a good hitter suspects that it’s coming, he will hit the ball 400 feet or more.
“I told him if he does swing at it, I’m going to get the ball back from the umpire as he’s rounding the bases and I’m going to drill him as he’s running around,” Washburn said.
By the way, Washburn’s plaque for winning Pitcher of the Month in July says Detroit Tigers on it — not Mariners. Washburn did not throw a pitch for the Tigers in July and even beat them in a start that month.
“It’s the first thing I’ve ever won, other than the (2002 World Series) ring,” he added.
Washburn gave all the credit for his “transformation” to pitching coach Rick Adair and said they should invent an award for the pitching coach who can best transform a hurler from one year to the next.
By the way, Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu confirmed our earlier report that Jack Wilson likely won’t play at all this series. Right now, he’s targetting Friday and the series with Cleveland, but left open the possibility that Wilson won’t be back until next week’s homestand against the Oakland A’s.
Michael Saunders gets an extra night’s rest today, then will likely play tomorrow.
Carlos Silva threw a 53-pitch bullpen session in which he mixed in some breaking balls. He’ll get an extra day’s rest, throw another bullpen session on Friday, then — if all goes well — possibly throw a simualted game. After that, he’ll go out for what Wakamatsu said could be a “two or three inning” minor league stint.
The team has not decided whether to use Silva in a bullpen or starting role once he’s ready for the majors again. Obviously, the performance of starters will dictate that. The idea for now is just to try to build up some of Silva’s confidence.