The Oakland Athletics hit a home run. It was the 20th of the season for Matt Olson. Good news right? Nope.
It was the only run the A’s managed to score against the New York Yankees on Sunday. There were certainly opportunities to add on. Olson missed his second home run of the game with two runners on. In the eighth inning Matt Chapman hit a one out triple, yet a strikeout and a fly out ended that chance.
Now the ninth inning against New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman was the best chance as he couldn’t find the strike zone. In fact in the outing he only threw two strikes out of 11 pitches. Which meant he walked the first two hitters he faced, Jed Lowrie and Tony Kemp.
A’s catcher Sean Murphy was far too aggressive and didn’t try to work the count even though it was obvious that Chapman was struggling. The end result a ground ball right to third which resulted in a game ending triple-play.
To say it wasn’t a good at-bat is an understatement.
As for the pitching Sean Manaea was stellar through five innings. He even recorded a strikeout on a 95.5 miles-per-hour sinker which was his fastest recorded velocity since 2016. Yet it fell apart on him in the sixth. It wasn’t a total implosion yet it was enough to knock him out of the game with only one out in the inning.
Manaea gave up a lead off walk to Clint Frazier who is hitting only .193 and he came back by striking out DJ LeMahieu.
With Aaron Judge at the plate he worked the count full, yet with Frazier seemingly going to run Manaea balked. The next pitch was ball four which put runners on first and second for Gary Sanchez.
Even more frustrating is that Manaea got ahead in the count 0-2 before on Sanchez yet he ended up hitting a double to right center field scoring both runners. He got to third on the throw to the plate by Lowrie and even then it was fortunate as the throw to Chapman beat him yet he wasn’t in a good position to apply the tag allowing him to get in.
Manager Bob Melvin finally decided to use the bullpen and Sergio Romo got Giancarlo Stanton to strike out and Gleyber Torres to ground out to third. Manaea finished the game with allowing two runs and three hits in 5.1 innings and he struck out 11 while walking two.
Still the 2-1 win by the Yankees isn’t exactly shocking. A’s fans aren’t surprised in the least. Manaea was great yet the offense couldn’t come up with clutch hits especially late in the game.