The coolers in the San Diego Padres dugout were out of commission in the top of the seventh inning Sunday after third baseman Manny Machado took out his frustrations on them with his bat.
Machado found himself in a prime position to get his Padres, who have struggled mightily to reach their high expectations this season, back into the game against the Milwaukee Brewers on the road. The Brewers had just put up seven runs in the bottom of the sixth to take a 9-4 lead, so runs were needed.
The Padres scored two runs to make it 9-6 thanks to some poor pitching by Brewers reliever Abner Uribe, who was ultimately taken out for Hoby Milner with runners on second and third and nobody out.
Juan Soto popped out to shortstop Willy Adames, which led to Machado in the box. Machado, though, had the same fate as his teammate before him: Popping out in a big spot. Carlos Santana secured the out at first base, and Machado walked back into the dugout in disgust with his at-bat.
Machado was seen still wearing his helmet while walking down the dugout benches and tapping coolers with his bat. Then all the frustration boiled over.
Machado unleashed on the coolers, swinging his hardest while his teammates and coaches never turned around to stop the situation. Machado kept going and ended up tossing his helmet for good measure.
It was a big moment in which Machado, who finished the day 1-for-5 with a strikeout and an RBI, wanted to come through for his club. The result was the exact opposite of his reason for getting into the batter’s box.
But that’s the way baseball goes sometimes. For the Padres, it’s a scenario that sums up a lot that’s transpired this season.
Before the year began, the likes of Machado, Soto and other superstars on the roster made some believe that the Los Angeles Dodgers would have tough competition for the NL West title. After all, the Padres defeated the Dodgers in the NLDS last season.
The playoffs, though, are nowhere in sight for the Padres, who are 61-70 after falling to the Brewers, 10-6, on Sunday afternoon.
Individually, the 30-year-old Machado hasn’t done bad this season. He’s slashing .250/.318/.462 with 25 homers and 77 RBI.
The Padres as a team just haven’t hit their mark, joining teams like the New York Mets and New York Yankees this season as high-payroll groups that are in danger of missing the postseason.
Because of that, situations like Machado’s on Sunday can be more than just not performing in the moment for your squad.