Just one day after Chris Bassitt struck out 11 batters with the A’s pitching staff picking up 19 strikeouts in total, Sean Manaea wracked up 10 K’s in seven innings pitched en route to a 3-1 A’s victory. The win is the A’s 5th in their last 6 games, and with both the Indians and Rays winning as well, the win helps to maintain the team’s position in the Wild Card race. The A’s are 1 game behind the Rays and 1.5 games ahead of the Indians for the Wild Card. For the Tigers, today’s loss was their 100th of the season.
Granted, the Tigers’ offense isn’t the most formidable on the planet. Their 517 runs scored is the worst in all of baseball. However, Sean Manaea looked spectacular today. Over seven innings, Manaea held the Tigers to just two hits and two walks, allowing just one run on a solo home run to Christin Stewart. His fastball started at around 91-93 MPH, and while he did lose some velocity as the game went on, he didn’t have the same dramatic drop off that he did last week in his 5th inning of work. He needed only six pitches to get through the 7th.
Perhaps just as strong of a performance on the mound came from Yusmeiro Petit, who was taking the hill for the first time since the passing of his father. Although one batter reached via a walk, Petit got two strikeouts to get through the inning.
Hendriks closed out the game with no problems, getting another strikeout of his own. The A’s pitching staff got 13 total K’s on the day.
On offense, the A’s got on the board right away in the 1st. Marcus Semien led things off with an opposite field line drive double to right center field. The A’s then used situational hitting and productive outs to advance Semien over to 3rd base and then home. The A’s would score again a few innings later when Khris Davis looked like vintage Khris Davis. With one out in the inning, Mark Canha and Chad Pinder hit back to back singles to place runners on the corners. Davis then cleared the bases by hitting a double off the top of the high wall in left center field.
Beyond all that, today’s game was pretty quiet. There was some solid defense played all around, by both teams, and the Tigers had just five baserunners on the day with the A’s having just eight baserunners on the day. But quiet or not, a victory is a victory, and the A’s have some momentum going into their final four games against the Astros this year, potential playoff matchup notwithstanding.