Pitchers shouldn’t be hitting in Major League Baseball. But they still are, so in the meantime it’s fun when they do well at the plate.
Oakland A’s starter Sean Manaea broke out the lumber on Friday against the San Francisco Giants. The lefty pitcher, who bats right-handed, went 2-for-2 against Giants hurler Johnny Cueto, on a day when the rest of the A’s lineup only managed four hits total.
Manaea’s first at-bat came in the 3rd inning. With two outs on the board, he worked a 2-2 count, then fouled off a pitch. The next offering was a fastball up in the zone, and he drilled it to right-center. The 96.1 mph drive split the defenders and bounced to the wall, giving him time to pull into second with a double.
Manaea making it look too easy pic.twitter.com/gQHHm5Nnkl— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) June 26, 2021
No helmet can contain him.
That hit sparked a brief rally, as Oakland went on to load the bases, but they weren’t able to cash in for any runs.
Manaea came to the plate again in the 5th, this time with one out. He offered at a 1-2 curveball at the bottom of the zone and tapped it to the left side, and the ball rolled to nobody and he was able to beat out an infield single. Once again he was stranded on base.
You don't need a jacket when you're 2-2 at the plate pic.twitter.com/DAVY8QDEsN— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) June 26, 2021
All the while, the southpaw was tossing six sparkling innings on the mound, and at one point he was hit by a comebacker but recovered to make the play at first base. Athlete!
His spot came up for a third time in the top of the 7th inning, but with the bullpen already set to enter in the bottom half he was lifted for a pinch-hitter.
Sean Manaea a triple and a home run shy of the cycle— Shayna Rubin (@ShaynaRubin) June 26, 2021
By the end of the day, he led the team in total bases with three. Jed Lowrie was next with two, on a pair of singles.
- Shohei Manaea: 2-for-2, double, single
- Rest of A’s: 4-for-32, all singles, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 9 Ks
Sean Manaea is the A's offense.— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) June 26, 2021
Manaea already had a hit on his career batting record entering the season, as he singled against the Rockies in 2018. These two knocks raise his overall line to 3-for-12 with a walk and three strikeouts. His career .250 batting average is now tied with fellow starting pitcher Cole Irvin, who singled this season and is 2-for-8 lifetime.