Frankie Montas watched as A.J. Puk threw a wild pitch, and the go-ahead run crossed the plate. He stood up in the Coliseum dugout, moved a camera out of the way and went for a stroll.
Montas had just taken a no-hitter into the eighth inning Thursday against the Seattle Mariners. He wound up taking a no-decision, and the Athletics took a 2-1 loss.
So it goes for the A’s in 2022.
On top of the A’s being swept by the Mariners at home in a three-game series where they scored a grand total of three runs, Montas was robbed of seeing a special day come to fruition.
“Frankie again goes out and dominates a game,” manager Mark Kotsay said to reporters. “We end up on the wrong end of it. Frankie had his best stuff today – a reflection of how deep he went without giving up a hit.”
Montas’ no-hit bid ended with two outs in the eighth, when he gave up an Adam Frazier single to left field. The next batter, Luis Torrens, also singled, but Montas got J.P. Crawford to ground out to end the inning with a 1-0 lead.
But the A’s bullpen blew the lead in the ninth, thanks in part to two wild pitches by Puk, allowing two runs to score.
“That baseball game, we should’ve won,” Kotsay said.
Both Kotsay and Montas told reporters that taking him out of the game after eight innings was the right call because he already had thrown 102 pitches.
“I feel like I did my job throwing eight [innings],” Montas said. “I had 102 pitches. If I had 90 pitches, I'd probably go back out. But 102 pitches, that's kind of a lot.”
Montas claimed that he wasn’t thinking about the no-hitter.
“To be honest, I wasn't really feeling like that,” he said. “I wasn’t like, ‘Something special is happening.’ I was locked in on getting outs. I was locked in on just making good pitches.”
Montas, whose record stayed at 3-7 despite a 3.21 ERA in 15 starts this season, looked understandably dejected in the dugout after the bullpen gave up the lead.
With the trade deadline looming, and the 23-48 A’s likely looking to be sellers, Montas’ name probably will be floated on the rumor mill at some point. He deflected a question about whether was thinking about being traded.
“I’m an Oakland A right now so I'm not worried about getting traded or anything,” Montas said. “All I have to worry about is going out there and doing my job.”
Kotsay made sure to expand on what Montas means to the team.
“Frankie is a fierce competitor,” Kotsay said. “A leader of the staff. A guy who goes out every fifth day and gives you what he’s got. Every time he takes the mound, he’s prepared. A reflection of the grind, the grit that we talk about in this organization it takes to have success.”