Really, you should just go read John’s recap from last night first if you haven’t, and then come back. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
Last night John described the Padres as dismissing the Mariners with authority, like a stern principal warning a wayward but thoroughly cowed student not to try anything like that again. Today’s win was no less authoritative, but it was more like the kind of authoritative of a high school freshman, all knobby-kneed new growth and unearned confidence, showing up at a senior shootaround at the YMCA and proceeding to get smoked six ways to a Sunday earlybird dinner special.
Maybe that’s unfair. With off days for promising-but-raw Jarred Kelenic and a hot-hitting J.P. Crawford, probably no one looked at this lineup containing leadoff man Donovan Walton, new catcher and Mr. 20 Thousand José Godoy, and an assortment of other players from the Island of Misfit Waiver Wire Claims and thought yes, this will be a close contest—excepting, of course, those of you well-enough acquainted with the impunity of the baseball gods to know that yes, sometimes exactly the entirely impossible-seeming games are the ones that get won. But not even the capriciousness of the baseball gods could counteract the Slam Diego monster truck stampeding over and gleefully crushing beneath its wheels the 1995 Mitsubishi Eclipse (with aftermarket parts) of the 2021 Seattle Mariners.
Not that starter Justin Dunn didn’t do what he could. If you want a bright spot to focus on, Justin Dunn is a good one. Against a powerful Padres lineup, Dunn held tough through five innings, only giving up one run on a solo shot to Tatis. He wasn’t as efficient with his pitches as you’d like to see, getting into deep counts and needing 71 pitches (only 41 of them strikes) to get through his five innings, while walking three. He did have four strikeouts, and seven swing-and-misses; three of those swinging strikes, and three of the strikeouts, came on his slider, which he successfully buried at the back foot of lefties:
Justin Dunn, Wicked 85mph Slider...and Sword. ⚔️ pic.twitter.com/WqRpLHyrzq— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 23, 2021
Dunn also showed a little extra pop on his fastball today, hitting 97 a couple of times. And he also translated that pop into his bat (!), smoking this RBI double with an EV of 95.1 to get the Mariners on the board:
Unfortunately, Dunn didn’t get a lot of help from his teammates today. Anthony Misiewicz continued a troubling trend, allowing three runs on four hits while failing to record an out (J.T. Chargois came in to relieve Misiewicz mid-inning with the bases loaded and allowed two inherited runners to score, but those runs were Chargois-ed to Misiewicz). Misiewicz got no swinging strikes, and had to throw 20 pitches, only 12 of which were strikes; when he was in the zone, his pitches got pounded, with two of the four hardest-hit balls of the game (including the hardest-hit ball of the day, a single smoked at 112.5 MPH off the bat of Eric Hosmer) against him. Whatever deception Misiewicz was using to fool batters earlier in the season, he seems to have lost the touch for it, and that’s worrying. Robert Dugger also gave up four runs on a grand slam to Tatís, but this game was long over by then.
Yu Darvish held the Mariners down over seven innings, giving up seven hits but no real damage other than that inflicted by Dunn’s double. Nabil Crismatt, Dunn’s teammate on the 2019 Arkansas Travelers, gave up one run in garbage time, and it wouldn’t matter except it was the other bright spot for the Mariners today: José Godoy’s first MLB hit, and RBI:
So, a crummy day all around, but three precious balls are leaving San Diego with the Mariners, bound for glory on shelves or in lockers: Justus Sheffield’s hit, Justin Dunn’s RBI hit, and José Godoy’s first MLB hit and RBI. Good for them. Sad for us, obviously, but good for them. On to Oakland, to see just how far this six-game losing streak can stretch.