We all have bad days at work. Maybe getting just four hours of sleep drags us down, or maybe we just can’t seem to focus, no matter how hard we try. It happens. We’re humans. We come back the next day, and are usually back to normal. In the meantime, we try not to drag everyone else down around us.
The difference between us and the Mariners, besides pay, of course, is that we aren’t in the public eye.
The Mariners are humans too, and they have bad days too. Tonight, a few Mariners had bad days. When you’re a professional baseball player, it’s not hard for a bad day to drag everyone down around you.
Erik Swanson had a bad day at work today. He’s the new kid, trying desperately to impress both his bosses and his coworkers. The harder you try to perform, it seems like the more likely you are to make a mistake. After walking nobody in his first MLB start, Swanson seemed eager to pitch to contact. Unfortunately, the Padres were equally eager to make contact with his pitches.
Franmil Reyes obliterated this fastball from Swanson in the second inning to put the Mariners down 3-0. The pitch was where Swanson wanted to put it — it just didn’t have much on it. No movement. No special velocity. It was out of the zone, but right where Reyes could drive it. This wouldn’t be the end of Swanson’s bad day.
Ryon Healy had a bad day at work today. He’s the lovable coworker who’s always in trouble. Always getting called into the boss’s office for some mistake or indiscretion, but everyone’s rooting for him. In the fourth, he struck out looking at a 3-2 fastball that was pretty much in the middle of the zone. He airmailed a throw in the sixth, which allowed a very washed up Ian Kinsler to reach base and later score off a dinger. He would finish the day 0-for-4 at the plate with two strikeouts.
Mallex Smith had perhaps the worst day of anyone. The guy who’s looking to finally stay at one job for a while, but needs to show that he can perform, Mallex has struggled quite a bit since his hot start to the season. His struggles have been compounded by bad luck, as a career-worst .278 BABIP has dragged his batting average for 2019 below the Mendoza Line.
While tonight’s 0-for-3 performance at the plate didn’t do Mallex’s batting average any favors, it was his miscue in the sixth inning that will be giving him nightmares for the next week or so.
Swanson’s bad day was only made worse by Mallex’s. Every fan was — at best — exasperated with him, but nobody was more pissed at him than himself.
It was that kind of night for the Mariners. There were miscues, both minor and colossal, and they added up. Even all three of their runs were made on plays that featured outs. Tim Beckham’s two-run single was marred by his TOOTBLAN at second base, which ended the Mariners’ fifth inning rally. The other run was scored on a sacrifice fly — not a bad thing, but not what the Mariners needed.
Everyone has these days. A young Mariners team could be expected to have them more often than most. If this team is really going to surprise everyone, though, mistake-ridden snoozers like tonight’s are going to have to be few and far between.