For the most part Sean Manaea has been solid for the Oakland Athletics. His only blemish prior to tonight was his first start of the season against the Houston Astros when he went 4.2 innings, gave up six hits, five runs all earned while striking out four and walking three.
Over his next six starts Manaea went 3-0 with a 2.23 ERA, he threw 36.1 innings, gave up nine runs all earned, walked five and struck out 39. His best performance was his last start against the Tampa Bay Rays where he took a no-hitter into the eighth. He ended up leaving after 7.1 innings, allowing two hits, a run, and he struck out 10 while walking one.
After that start his ERA on the season was at 3.07.
Tonight he made his eighth start of the season against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Which has been a place of horrors for Manaea.
In his those three starts at Fenway Manaea has allowed 29 hits and 19 runs. Tonight it wasn’t much better for him as he only lasted two innings while giving up 10 hits and seven runs. His only saving grace was that Deolis Guerra took over with the bases loaded and no outs.
Guerra then got a double play and a fly out to limit the damage.
The frustrating thing about Manaea was that he made no adjustments after the first inning. Boston was extremely aggressive and scored three runs in that inning. Michael Chavis got it started with a leadoff double. J.D. Martinez roped a single on the first pitch he saw and Xander Bogaerts then hit a two-run home run down the left field line on the first pitch that he saw.
It also didn’t help that Manaea kept leaving the fastball in a hittable location. It was more of the same in the second inning and the Red Sox took advantage as Hunter Renfoe lined a single off the Green Monster and on the second pitch Bobby Dalbec saw he hit a two-run home run.
So the question becomes why didn’t Manaea start to use the off-speed pitch more? This at least gives him the opportunity to change the eye level of the Red Sox hitters who were looking for the fastball.
For Manaea he’s a veteran pitcher. He has been around long enough to brush off an inning like that yet he didn’t. Dallas Braden mentioned him finding something so he can get through at least five innings. He obviously never found it and It speaks volumes that seven of the hits he allowed were of an exit velocity of over 105 miles-per-hour.
Tonight also wasn’t one of those starts where a pitcher struggles to find the strike zone and then is forced to throw striks and ends up getting hit hard. What happened was all self-inflicted by Manaea.
Simply put his performance was incredibly frustrating and there’s no excuse for a veteran pitcher like Manaea to not make adjustments and see what the Red Sox hitter were doing. That’s on him.