BY JAMES TUBB ON JUNE 14, 2022.
The Medicine Hat Mavericks are going through it right now.
After starting the Western Canadian Baseball League season 3-0, the Mavericks have gone 2-7 including a 12-5 loss to the Edmonton Prospects Sunday at Athletic Park, and a 15-10 loss to the Swift Current 57’s on the road Saturday.
Mavericks head coach Tyler Jeske said after Sunday’s setback, which capped off a stretch of five games in five days, he obviously never enjoys a loss but felt a little better knowing the Mavs got beat by Edmonton, they didn’t beat themselves.
After getting back to the Hat from Swift Current at 3:30 a.m. Sunday, Jeske said the coaching staff could tell players were frustrated and tired, so they took a stripped down approach to the game and took the reins off.
“Going into the day, the message to the guys was let’s strip this down, just go be you,” Jeske said. ‘We’re going to take the reins off as a staff a little bit, be bold off the bumpers for once and see what that looks like, see who steps up and wants to compete. I still very much firmly believe in this team.”
After Sunday’s loss as the Mavericks were breaking down the game in left field, Jeske side hugged pitching coach Ron White and he returned the embrace as they addressed the team.
Jeske said the act was just a message to the pitching staff and the rest of the team, that everything is fine.
“We’ve given up a lot of runs this week and we started with fairly high expectations at the beginning of the season – and at the beginning of the season, the offence wasn’t scoring as many runs either, so it’s give and take,” Jeske said. “It’s about getting both clicking together and when that happens, it’s going to be something really fun to watch. But at the end of the day, it was like saying, we’re completely fine, this is going to be OK. And sometimes, you just have to give a guy a hug.”
The Mavericks were off Monday before they kick off a stretch of six games in six days, starting with a two-pack of games tonight and Wednesday in Moose Jaw against the Miller Express. Jeske said the day off would be the best thing coming off that stretch for the team to recharge and get back to meeting expectations.
“I know for a fact that the fans in Medicine Hat have high expectations, they’re extremely intelligent, passionate fans, extremely loyal fans – clearly, how many people stick around to the end of that game?” Jeske said. “But at the end of the day, we’re still not meeting the expectations and our personal or internal standards and we’re gonna get there but sometimes the day off is just what everyone needs.”
The team’s first game back at Athletic Park is Thursday when they host the Lethbridge Bulls for a 7 p.m. contest.
The Mavericks first game back in Athletic Park is Thursday when they host the Lethbridge Bulls for a 7 p.m. contest.