The August skid continues, and postseason hopes grow more distant by the day.
The Oakland A’s lost their sixth straight game Friday night at the Coliseum, this time an 8-2 thumping by the New York Yankees. Oakland has lost 10 of their past 12, and they now trail the Second Wild Card spot by 3.5 games.
The Bronx Bombers lived up to their name, launching four homers to account for most of their scoring. They hit two solo shots in the 4th inning off Sean Manaea, and then a three-run dinger in the 5th, and then a two-run blast in the 9th to put the game out of reach. They singled in one more run after the final homer, just for variety.
- Manaea: 4⅓ ip, 5 runs, 5 Ks, 0 BB, 3 HR, 7 hits, 86 pitches, 98.7 mph EV
The Yankees pounded the ball all night, against both Manaea and the bullpen. Giancarlo Stanton hit one 472 feet, into the second deck.
Here’s a happier video of Manaea striking somebody out.
Sean Manaea, 93mph Paint. ️ pic.twitter.com/IjTJgUScOE— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 28, 2021
On offense, the A’s didn’t do much against Cy Young contender Gerrit Cole. They stranded singles in each of the first three innings, then stranded two runners in the 4th, then stranded the bases loaded in the 5th thanks to a spectacular defensive play by New York’s third baseman.
Oakland finally scored in the 7th, against the Yankees bullpen. With runners on first and second, Matt Olson slapped a single against the shift, allowing one runner to score. When New York’s throw to the plate went past the catcher, Starling Marte hustled home to add a second run.
Climbing back into it? The score was now 5-2, and the next batter walked to bring the tying run to the plate! But a double play ended the rally, and then the next six batters were retired in order, five by strikeout. Game over. Womp womp.
Highlight? Josh Harrison made a nice defensive play, on the first pitch of the game. It pretty much went downhill from there.
Josh Harrison: Human Highlight Reel pic.twitter.com/cZEP9ckWtG— Oakland A's (@Athletics) August 28, 2021
Lowlight? Beyond all the dingers and the loss, Manaea got hassled by the umpires before the game over the color of his glove. Manaea had been using this glove all year, but it was deemed to be an illegal shade of green so he had to switch to a darker shade of green, and they waited until he was all warmed up for first pitch to call him on it. Bizarre.
The umpires forced Sean Manaea to switch out the glove he's been using all season pic.twitter.com/lvDyxjESwL— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) August 28, 2021
This was Manaea’s 26th start of the summer, making the timing all the more perplexing. Seems like something that could have been addressed earlier in the day, or not at all, rather than immediately before first pitch. Manager Bob Melvin didn’t like it:
"That was completely uncalled for." - BoMel on the umpires forcing Manaea to switch gloves before first pitch pic.twitter.com/l94Yo4LeX7— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) August 28, 2021
For what it’s worth, it appears the Yankees had nothing to do with Manaea’s glove situation, and it was initiated by the umps, reports Matt Kawahara of the S.F. Chronicle.
It’s still August. There’s an entire month to go. But hope runs thinner with each passing day. The A’s aren’t hitting well nor pitching well, and they’re falling down the standings quickly over the past couple weeks. Tonight they were overpowered on both sides of the ball by elite competition.
Time is running out, but it ain’t over till it’s over. Try again tomorrow!
Melvin: “Bad stretch for us against good teams. We’ve lost close games where we’re a pitch or hit away. Tonight was not one of those. It's one thing if we’re just lackluster and getting blown out. Guys are trying hard. We’ll grind through, win a game and hopefully get on a roll."— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) August 28, 2021