Logan Morrison was clearly irritated at himself and the result.
With the Mariners trailing 1-0 in the fifth inning, he had just popped up to shortstop with one out and runners on first and second. The squandered opportunity left him seething.
As he walked back to the dugout – bat in hand – his anger was visible.
Moments later, his teammate, Kyle Seager, picked him up with a double to right score the runners and give Seattle the lead.
When the Mariners came back on the field to start the seventh, Morrison did not jog to first base. Instead, John Buck, who has never played first base in a MLB game, trotted out to the position.
What happened to Morrison?
The official announcement in the press box was that he’d suffered a laceration to his forehead. Not exactly a typical injury considering the circumstances. Manager Lloyd McClendon had no idea what happened.
“He had to receive five stitches,” McClendon said. “So he obviously couldn’t go back out there.”
Morrison appeared in the clubhouse after the game with a nasty green and purple knot above his lefty eye and the markings of five stitches in the middle of it. He looked like a UFC fighter.
“I got into a fight with my bat,” he said.
By appearances, he lost that fight.
“You should’ve seen the other guy,” he joked.
In his anger, Morrison slammed the bat against the wall inside the dugout and a piece of the maple bat broke off and came back at him, striking him above the eye.
“Obviously I acted like a three-year-old,” he said. “I apologized to my teammates. I’m about to go apologize to Mac. I can’t do that. I didn’t want to come out of the game. They saw me gushing me blood from eyebrow and they took me out. I’m embarrassed. No matter how bad I’m playing, I can’t do that.”
Morrison’s failure to come up with the key hit when needed for a Mariners’ team that is struggling offensively set him off. He said it wasn’t typical behavior for him.
“I usually don’t snap,” he said. “I usually don’t play this bad either. But I usually don’t snap. I’m going to have to take some lessons from Kyle on how to do it.”
Morrison’s outburst allowed John Buck to play first base for the first time in his major league career.
“I played it in the minor leagues,” Buck said.
“He played two innings!” hollered first baseman Justin Smoak as Buck was being interviewed.
Buck’s reply: “They know a good one when they see it.”
The experience wasn’t completely foreign to Buck. Before every game he takes ground balls at third base and first base during batting practice. He also partakes during infield workouts under the supervision of infield coach Chris Woodward.
“I’ve been working with Woody quite a bit,” Buck said. “Just because all the back-ups I’ve ever had, that’s the guy they go to if you are ever in a bind. And we were in a bind. I put in the work with Woody and skip has watched it and felt comfortable to go with me.”
McClendon felt more comfortable to go with Buck instead of the recently called-up Jesus Montero, who has been converting to first base. Montero has played in 42 games at first base this season, committing nine errors.
“We didn’t have anybody else,” McClendon said. “It wasn’t complicated. It was really simple actually. We didn’t have anyone else.”