It ain’t over till it’s over. Unless a probably injured or fatigued Sean Manaea is set to start despite his fastball being four MPH slower than it usually is.
Manaea was terrible. After facing six batters and throwing 28 pitches he couldn’t retire a single Oriole, the lone out Manaea recorded coming on an out at the plate on a run-scoring double, following a strong relay from Khris Davis and Marcus Semien. His fastball was topping out in the high 80’s, and he frequently missed his location right down the heart of the plate. All in all, Manaea allowed six runs on six hits, with one walk and no strikeouts in his one-third of an inning pitched. Manaea is not right, and the organization needs to take whatever steps necessary to get him fixed.
It’s a shame the game began so horribly tonight because the rest of the A’s game went quite well. Michael Brady wasn’t perfect, but he saved the rest of the bullpen in his long relief effort with five innings pitched, with five strikeouts and three runs allowed. While the excessive strikeouts remained a problem, the A’s still consistently had ducks on the pond and flexed some impressive power against Orioles’ starter Dylan Bundy, Khris Davis and Matt Olson each hitting no doubt home runs and eight of nine A’s starters reaching base. The A’s scored five runs on the night, knocking ten hits and working three walks.
The A’s also looked incredibly solid on defense. Boog Powell commanded center field and immediately showed that he was the best fielding outfielder the A’s have had all season. Khris Davis made a strong throw on the aforementioned relay, and Matts Chapman and Olson continued to show elite defense at the corners. With the significant changes up and down the roster over the past couple of months, it is safe to say that the age of the A’s having the MLB’s worst defense is behind them.
An atrocious first inning sunk the A’s, and hopefully Sean Manaea either sorts himself out, or gets healed, soon. A’s lose 12-5, and will look to procure a series split tomorrow at noon.