If there’s one thing about Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin is that he’s consistent.
Last night Melvin’s decision-making cost the A’s a victory. Today he made even more head-scratching moves. The first was allowing Mike Fiers to come back out for the top of the fourth inning after the A’s took a 4-3 lead after scoring three times in the bottom of the third.
It didn’t go well for Fiers as he gave up a lead off single to Jonathan Davis and then gave up a two-run home run to Danny Jansen. What makes it more frustrating is that both players batting averages were under .100 at the time.
Even after the Toronto Blue Jays took the 5-4 lead, Melvin didn’t take Fiers out. He got Marcus Semien to fly out. Yet Bo Bichette singled which finally forced a pitching change. Deolis Guerra came in and got the final two outs of the inning to limit any more damage.
Guerra pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the fifth. Surprisingly Melvin elected to keep him in for the sixth. He did get Jansen for the first out then it got away from the A’s reliever. He gave up back-to-back singles to Marcus Semien and Bichette. An error allowed Vladimir Guerrero Jr to reach and the Blue Jays were able to load the bases with only one out.
So what was the move that Melvin made when he went to the bullpen? He inexplicably brought in Sergio Romo who entered the game with an ERA of 7.59. With Oakland trailing by a run Yusmeiro Petit made much more sense as he’s done a great job of stranding inherited runners in 2021.
Toronto took advantage of the mistake by Melvin as Teoscar Hernandez drove in two with a single. Randal Grichuk who hit a three-run home run earlier, then drove in two with a double and got to third on an error by Tony Kemp.
Grichuck got stranded at third, yet the A’s went from trailing 5-4 to 9-4. Semien added a solo home run in the seventh of Reymin Guduan.
Today’s loss isn’t exactly shocking to Oakland fans. It’s expected, yet it speaks volumes that Melvin still hasn’t learned or bothered to change his approach when he sees that a starter or reliever is struggling. In most cases he doesn’t make his decision quick enough and by the time he does the game is already out of hand. Today is the perfect example of that.