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Game #156: Manaea is fantastic but offense is absent, A's lose 2-1

The A's lose game one of this three game set thanks to an absent offense and a defensive miscue.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Let's fast forward to 2017.

Jered Weaver was perfect for the first 4 & 2/3 innings against the A's lineup.

Jered Weaver was perfect for the first 4 & 2/3 innings against the A's lineup. Jered Weaver was perfect for the first 4 & 2/3 innings against the A's lineup. Jered freaking Weaver was perfect for the first 4 & 2/3 innings against the A's lineup.

Jered Weaver was once a good pitcher. He is currently not a good pitcher. His shoulder muscles are a la dente spaghetti noodles, and I've driven a mini van faster than his fastball.

The A's inability to do anything against the Weavers of the world has been one of the more frustrating aspects of a rather insufferable season. More annoying has been their approach. Tonight, the A's routinely made weak contact in early counts, chased pitches out of the zone to ruin hitters counts, and lacked a smart approach to a disarmed pitcher.

Mike Trout dinger

Mike Trout is a baseball god, and while you do have to cringe a bit at Manaea leaving a slider over the plate to the best baseball player on the planet, especially when the rest of the Angels' lineup is just so punchless, sometimes you just have to tip your cap. Trout is pretty dang awesome, and his bomb in the fifth made the score 1-0.

Also, hat tip to the rest of the Angels for being so terrible so we can all not hate Mike Trout with relative ease.

Stephen Vogt dinger

The A's would break up the perfect game in the fifth and Weaver would depart after the frame due to some lower back tightness.

In the sixth, reliever Deolis Guerra, who is quietly having a pretty decent year, came on in relief. He'd get the first two outs without hassle but on a 3-2 fastball, would allow a bomb to Stephen Vogt.

Vogt has had a tough little stretch of baseball, slumping while also losing a bit of playing time to rookie Bruce Maxwell. Tonight's dinger came from the DH spot, making the A's offensive bright spot just a smidgen brighter, as Vogt has routinely struggled hitting while playing out of his normal position.

Sean Manaea, magical

With the caveat that the Angels are a lot like the A's, only located further south and generally hate-able, Sean Manaea was yet again a magician on the mound. He went seven innings on the night, with the dinger to Trout the only blemish on his resume. He only struck out three but induced 13 groundballs, staying in control of the game all night long.

I need a whole new paragraph to highlight these numbers: Manaea has now made 12 second half appearances, 11 starts, and one random emergency relief appearance. He's gone 71.2 innings with an ERA of 2.64 (!!!!) and a K/9 rate of 8.03. That should make you feel pretty warm and fuzzy about a guy who is still a rookie.

Dull gives up the lead

In the eighth, fantastic reliever Ryan Dull came on for a slightly less than fantastic appearance. Yunel Escobar would single with one out and move to third on Kole Calhoun's double. The A's would intentionally walk Mike Trout to load the bases for old man Albert Pujols, hoping to induce a double play with his slow legs.

Pujols did his part, nubbing a makeshift bunt up the right side. Ryan Dull had plenty of time to get Escobar at the plate for a force out, but bobbled the ball, making his only play at first. Escobar would score, making the score 2-1, Angels.

It was by no means an easy play, and by getting Pujols at first, it wasn't even an error. But it was emblematic of the A's this year: the A's failed to make a play that directly resulted in losing.

A's go down quietly in ninth, lose 2-1

Another day, another weak offensive performance, another loss, and yet, another reason to be excited. Manaea was fantastic and looks like the real deal. The offense was disappointing, but on to the next.

Remembering Jose Fernandez

The news of Jose Fernandez's death was nothing short of devastating. In a time of absolute sadness across the sport, the Marlins and Mets put together some beautiful moments in his honor, too important to not share just a day after his passing.

Rest in peace.