The A’s gave up six runs in the second inning, but it was the fourth inning that hurt the most.
The Brewers had sustained a rally sandwiched in between two warning track power fly outs against A’s prospect Daulton Jefferies before he expressed clear discomfort and was removed from the game.
Not really sure what happened with Jefferies. He was standing on the mound with glove covering his face and Mateo quickly jogged over from second base to check on him, as did Jonah Heim. Jefferies had to grind hard to get back from surgery. Hopefully nothing serious.— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) February 24, 2020
Jefferies gave up three runs on three hits and also allowed a walk. Fans everywhere will anxiously await the news on Jefferies’ condition, after he fought so hard to get back on the mound after years marred by injury.
The rest of the game wasn’t so great for the A’s either. Sean Manaea cruised through the first inning, striking out two on just twelve pitches. His fastball hit 91 on the gun and he was able to use both his changeup and slider effectively, generating big swings and misses. Manaea’s first inning was so good he was allowed to start the second inning, which didn’t go so well. Manaea’s swing and miss stuff was suddenly sitting in the middle of the zone, and the Brewers teed off. Three of the first four Brewers of the inning doubled off of Manaea, and after a mound visit Manaea gave up two home runs. In total, six runners crossed the plate before Manaea was relieved by Trey Cochran-Gill.
Non roster invitee also gave up three runs in relief in the game’s later innings.
On the flip side, Liam Hendriks dominated in his one inning of relief. He got two strikeouts while using his fastball and slider, and nobody reached base in his scoreless inning. Hendriks also experimented with altering his timing during the inning.
Liam Hendriks used a little hesitation on the last pitch to Robles today, says he’s adding that option into his delivery. Work in progress but he’d like to use it now and then when warranted.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) February 24, 2020
Hendriks will next pitch on February 27th.
Also, Brian Howard pitched noticeably well in relief, demonstrating strong control in 2.1 scoreless innings. His flat fastball was deceptive for hitters and he generated a good amount of weak contact. He walked one and struck out one in his outing. Jesus Zambrano lit up the radar gun at Hohokam, but did give up a couple of runs in the ninth inning.
On offense, the A’s were quiet for most of the game. The team demonstrated good patience at the plate, but couldn’t do much when actually making contact with the ball. Jorge Mateo, getting the start at second base, was able to use his strengths to generate a run for the A’s when the starters were all still in the game, in the third inning. Mateo singled on a ground ball and stole second base a few pitches later. Mateo came around to score easily on an RBI single from Marcus Semien. In the field, Mateo showed flashes of his plus plus fielding, using his wide range that his speed enables and strong throwing arm to take a couple of hits away from the Brewers. Later in the game, Mateo nearly beat out an infield single but was retired at first.
A’s roster filler in Ronnie Freeman, Eric Campbell, and Dustin Fowler led a small rally in the 8th inning with the game already far out of reach, to bring the A’s a little closer. In the 9th inning, prospect Luis Barrera followed up his 3-4 day yesterday with a triple to lead off the frame. Logan Davidson singled him home on a sharp hit to center.
Brewers win 14-4, and the A’s remain winless in Cactus League play. Of course, more so than the loss, fans will be awaiting the news on Daulton Jefferies’ condition with baited breath.
***UPDATE*** Jefferies has a “little” biceps issue:
Bob Melvin says Daulton Jefferies has a little biceps issue. Was a little bit concerned when he looked in pain on mound.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) February 24, 2020
A’s play again tomorrow at 12:10.
Here is Matt Olson hitting a home run against the Brewers, for posterity: