The 2021 Bay Bridge Series got off to a disappointing start for the Oakland A’s.
Despite getting two hits from their pitcher, the A’s were shut out 2-0 by the San Francisco Giants on Friday at Oracle Park. The position players in Oakland’s lineup managed only four hits, while the Giants did just enough on offense to scratch out a couple runs.
Starting pitcher Sean Manaea did everything he could to carry the A’s tonight. On the mound he was brilliant, pounding the zone and breezing through six innings. San Francisco rarely hit the ball hard and only scored once against him in the 4th, with a double down the line that landed two feet fair followed by a bloop single. He issued a pair of walks leading off the 6th, but got out of that jam.
- Manaea: 6 ip, 1 run, 7 Ks, 3 BB, 3 hits, 93 pitches, 87.8 mph
On top of that performance, he also chipped in at the plate. When he batted in the 3rd inning the A’s hadn’t yet reached base, as Johnny Cueto had retired the entire lineup in order the first time through. Manaea got a fastball up in the zone and smoked a 96.1 mph liner into the right-center gap for a double.
Manaea making it look too easy pic.twitter.com/gQHHm5Nnkl— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) June 26, 2021
The A’s loaded the bases after Manaea’s double but couldn’t push a run across.
In the 5th he did it again, sort of. Manaea tapped a 1-2 curveball to the left side and nobody could field it in time to throw him out. The infield single made him 2-for-2 on the day, though he was stranded yet again. His spot came up again in the 7th but he was lifted for a pinch-hitter.
- Manaea: 2-for-2, double
With Manaea out of the game, the bullpen entered in the bottom of the 7th. Cam Bedrosian got the call, and promptly allowed a solo homer to the first batter he faced. Not Crawford, or Yaz, or Flores, or Ruf, but backup catcher Curt Casali, who was a late addition tonight when Buster Posey was scratched before the game. Sigh.
Casali didn’t find out he was in the lineup until after batting practice and he had to hustle up his game preparation. “I love it when the other team doesn’t get any runs, he says of his six shutouts caught.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) June 26, 2021
Nothing much else happened. Tony Kemp reached twice via a HBP and a walk, and Jed Lowrie had two singles. But they needed the heart of the order to come through, and instead Matt Chapman struck out three times, Matt Olson left five runners on base, Ramon Laureano struck out twice, and Sean Murphy got a chance with a runner on but whiffed.
At least it was over fast, at two hours and 23 minutes.
The good news is Manaea was awesome, doing his best Shohei Ohtani impression with great pitching and productive hitting. The bad news is he also did his best Jacob deGrom impression, leading his team on the mound and at the plate but still taking the loss when nobody else showed up.
This has been a nightmare road trip for the A’s, and it continued tonight. Try again tomorrow!