In his return from the DL, Sean Manaea was less than ideal.
The A’s have had their fair share of Three True Outcome (TTO) hitters in the recent decade or so. For those who are unfamiliar, the three true outcomes are the largely defense-independent plays: strikeouts, walks, and home runs. We’ve seen the good (Frank Thomas, Adam Dunn), the meh (Brandon Moss), and the ugly (Chris Carter).
What we’ve got this season in Manaea, though, is some kind of flipped three true outcomes pitcher. Tonight, he gave up 4 runs on 2 hits over 5 innings. Here’s the key: two of those runs were walked in, two came on a Nelson Cruz two-run shot, and despite this mishaps, Manaea still managed to strike out seven. His walk rate is a horrendous 11.4%, but his 25.7% strikeout rate is pretty great (obviously, you’d want to reverse the labels for a TTO hitter). He was able to settle down and retire the last ten batters faced.
All I’m trying to say is that Manaea is some command fixes away from being a good pitcher (easier said than done, I know). I’m optimistic that Manaea can still turn things around.
Here are the highs and (mostly) lows:
Khrush got Oakland on the board in the 4th with a solo homer, which has become the A’s specialty on offense.
Davis last homered on April 29, and in the 12 games since then he’d gone 6-for-48 with a double, 4 walks, and 18 Ks before tonight.
Vogt homered in the 5th off of Gallardo — only his second of the season, the first came on Opening Night — AND there was a man on base! His night was otherwise nothing special, but certainly promising to see that Vogt is physically capable of producing offensively.
Joyce went 0-4 with a walk. His average is now an abysmal .200, and he struck out with the bases loaded in the 7th inning. I think it’s safe to say that Joyce should not continue in the leadoff spot — BoMel will have to get creative with his replacement, because Rajai’s been equally ineffective.
I feel like a broken record here, but Ryon Healy could use a couple days out of the lineup to sort himself out (if he happens to spend those days in Nashville, so be it). He’s lacking control in his swings and hasn’t homered in quite some time.
WTF, man. Hendriks has been one of the more reliable pitchers throughout the recent bullpen catastrophes, but put this game out of reach when he gave up a 2-run shot to Kyle Seager in the 8th. The ‘pen has now given up 12 runs throughout the road trip.
Montas came out for two innings in relief and struck out three, without giving up a run. His ERA still sits at 5.59, but it’s certainly promising to see a reliever do his job.
This was a winnable game. It was winnable in the 7th when Joyce and Lowrie left the bases load, and really winnable in the 9th when Edwin Diaz walked four consecutive batters, but Rosales watched a borderline strike go by him for the final out. I’d like to see Rosales swing at a pitch that close, with literally everything to gain.
To sum up, in Nico’s elegant words:
“Really, the A's have only been let down tonight by their starting pitcher, their reliever, their offense, and their defense. In other words, a normal day.”
We’ll do this all again tomorrow at 7:10pm.