Game 8, A’s at Mariners

marc w · July 31, 2020 at 5:12 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Taijuan Walker vs. Sean Manaea, 6:40pm

Well, here we are. The strangest home opener any of us have experienced. The M’s host the 3-3 Athletics, who have played Anaheim and Colorado. The A’s have stumbled a bit at the plate; after a tough series against the Rockies, they’re sporting a sub-.300 OBP.

In recent years, they’ve had a good offense, but have benefitted from some great pitching performances. They’ve needed them, given how injury prone they’ve been. One of their top pitching prospects missed almost of 2019, and is hurt again now. Tonight’s starter had TJ surgery a few years back, interrupting his development. But despite these setbacks, they’ve gotten good-enough (or better!) pitching from their depth starters like Chris Bassitt and Daniel Mengden.

Sean Manaea’s an ex-phenom, I suppose. After a dominant Cape Cod league performance, he was the favorite to go #1 overall in the 2013 draft. But his junior year at Indiana State was plagued with inconsistency and minor arm trouble, and he fell to the competitive balance round. For years now in the majors, there’s still the sense that you don’t know which Manaea you’ll see. Far from the mid-90s he sat at in college and flashed in the minors, he’s been around 90-92 in the bigs. He averaged 90 last year after coming back from surgery, but sat at just 88 last week.

He has a weird, Justus Sheffield-like sinking four seam fastball, a slider (for years his best pitch), and a so-so change. He’s mixing in a curve now, though it’s still a work in progress, and lacks real depth. The lefty has been ok against righties, as his slider has been very effective against them. His fastball has been less effective, so the M’s will probably look to jump on fastball counts.

1: Crawford, SS
2: Lopes, DH
3: Lewis, CF
4: Seager, 3B
5: White, 1B
6: Nola, C
7: Long, 2B
8: Moore, RF
9: Gordon, LF
SP: Walker

Welcome back Austin Nola! The catching crew was a bit suspect with both Tom Murphy and Nola out. Crawford’s started the season on fire, which is great to see; I was losing hope he could be a league—average bat. It’s early, but he and Kyle Lewis are propelling what’s been a surprisingly good line-up. Obligatory small sample caveats, of course.

Comments

8 Responses to “Game 8, A’s at Mariners”

  1. Stevemotivateir on July 31st, 2020 8:38 pm

    Walker has been dealing.

  2. Westside guy on July 31st, 2020 10:42 pm

    I missed these last couple games, and the Mariners won both of them. Perhaps the best thing I can do as a fan is… not watch? 😉

  3. Stevemotivateir on August 1st, 2020 8:11 am

    Pretty sure it’s eponymous who’s fueling Seattle’s success right now!

  4. Stevemotivateir on August 1st, 2020 7:25 pm

    Kikuchi has been dealing.

  5. Stevemotivateir on August 1st, 2020 7:53 pm

    Nice to see Kikuchi work his way out of trouble and keep the A’s off the board.

    Solid start.

  6. Westside guy on August 1st, 2020 8:32 pm

    I much prefer watching Evan White handle first base than, say, Daniel Vogelbach.

  7. Stevemotivateir on August 1st, 2020 8:44 pm

    Watching Vogelbach play first is entertaining.

    It’s just a different kind of entertainment.

  8. Stevemotivateir on August 2nd, 2020 4:10 pm

    Kyle
    Lewis

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