The Oakland Athletics needed a strong start from Frankie Montas who had his turn pushed back due to a fingernail issue, yet didn’t get it.
He fell apart against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the second inning after getting the first out. He gave up a single to Max Muncy, Chris Taylor singled through the shift, Edwin Rios walked, Zach McKinstry hit a sacrifice fly for the 1-0 lead.
Montas then got the chance to get out of the inning without anymore damage. Unfortunately third basemen Matt Chapman decided to run before the baseball got to him on a hard hit ground ball that he only knocked down and wasn’t able to get the third out at the bag.
The Dodgers took advantage as Cory Seager ripped a double over Mark Canha’s head to drive in three. Justin Turner did ground out to end the inning.
Montas was at 61 pitches after only two innings and surprisingly Bob Melvin kept him in. He struck out Cody Bellinger, yet gave up a solo home run to Will Smith, he hit Taylor with a 96 miles-per-hour fastball. Pitching Coach Scott Emerson then went out to the mound for a visit even though A.J. Puk was warming in the bullpen earlier.
Whatever got said didn’t help. By the time Puk came in the score was 7-0. He lasted 2.2 innings, gave up seven hits and walked three.
What this start showcased is what has plagued Montas. He has ace potential his first strike to start the game was a 98 miles-per-hour fastball that Mookie Betts couldn’t handle. He also gets ahead of hitters the issue is isn’t able to put those hitters away.
Also when he misses the pitches aren’t even close to the strike zone. The result usually means he walks the hitter or he’s getting hit hard. Which is exactly what happened tonight and it wasn’t something the A’s needed.
Note: The A’s still have not held a lead during the 2021 season. It’s the sixth straight game including playoffs eight or more runs were given up and became the third team since 1901 to have five straight regular season games of it.