Rick Forney isn't a doctor, but he knows exactly what to prescribe to his ailing Winnipeg Goldeyes right now: some painkillers and plenty of rest.
Oh, and a few innings of decent work by the men who step to the mound to open a game wouldn't hurt, either.
The Goldeyes were slaughtered 16-7 by the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks Sunday afternoon in front of 6,628 at Shaw Park for their third straight loss and for the ninth time in their last 12. And the fatigue is spreading through the Fish clubhouse like a plague.
"Check our schedule with anybody's in the league... nobody's even close to doing what we’re doing," said an exasperated Forney afterward. "Losing guys... injured... no days off... the only thing you can do is rest them and hope they can give you a three-hour burst at 7'clock for the next three nights. That's what we're going to do: We're just going to show up and play. We’re not going to take any BP (batting practice) or anything the next couple of days.
"They have no energy left in them. The life is sucked out of them."
That was obvious not long after the two anthems were belted out as the Goldeyes fell behind 11-1 through three innings with the RedHawks pounding starter Chris Zbin and his replacement, Stephen Zahn, for eight hits and 11 runs. The Goldeyes would trot out eight different pitchers who gave up nine walks with Zbin lasting just 2 2/3 innings in taking the loss.
Fargo got homers from Nic Jackson — who was 2-for-5 with five RBI — and Ryan Stovall as seven different RedHawks teamed up for 13 hits.
"When you run into a couple starts like we've had in this series... You're going to get your ass kicked and we did," Forney said. "We got manhandled. There's not much you can do when the life is sucked out of you in the first half hour of the game. It's hard to battle back, especially when you're talking about a team that is playing injured and physically and mentally exhausted.
"Guys are playing as hard as they can, there's just not much left in their body right now."
Asked if his first two hurlers Sunday were possibly nervous — both Zbin and Kahn were pitching for the first time at Shaw Park — Forney added:
"We don't have time for nervousness. We're trying to win baseball games. Throw it over the plate and see how good you can be. You can't walk 10, 12 or however many we walked today and win."
Price Kendall drive in two runs for the Fish from the leadoff spot, going 2-for-4, while Luis Allen was 2-for-5. But falling behind by a touchdown and a field goal through three innings can make for a long afternoon.
"We're just not playing good baseball right now," said Kendall. "We're struggling a little bit, guys are a little banged up... it's been a long season so far. I know it's only been 30-some games, but the guys are just a little bit out of it. It's just right now things aren't falling our way. We're hitting the ball hard, we're not getting the calls at the plate from our pitching staff's perspective and balls aren't dropping. It just seems like every little thing is happening.
"That's baseball. No matter how good you are, it always finds a way to humble you.
"We thought we had a test at the beginning of the year in Texas with that long road trip," Kendall added. "We were down and fought back. But this is going to be a true test of our resiliency right now with this little funk that we're in. We've got to hold our heads high, keep battling and get back on track."