The A’s got off to a bumpy start as they began their first road trip to Seattle with a 5-3 loss to the Mariners on Friday night.
Many things didn’t work in the A’s favor from defensive errors and lack of offensive production. But for starter Sean Manaea, he once again could not get beyond the third inning threshold without essentially falling apart.
Manaea was cruising until the fourth inning when he gave up a two-run double to Mariners infielder Kyle Seager, who had Manaea figured out. And it was downhill from there.
In 4 1/3 innings, Manaea gave up six hits, three earned runs, two unearned runs while striking out four.
“Pretty bad outing,” Manaea told reporters in the postgame interview. “I didn’t really know what happened just kind of, I don’t know. It was good for the first two or three innings or whatever, then I just kind of fell off, I don’t really know how to explain it -- just happened I guess.”
Manaea appeared to be singing the same tune from his previous outing against the Los Angeles Angels.
In 4 2/3 innings on July 25, he gave up five hits, four earned runs and struck out three.
So what went wrong against the Mariners? Manaea wasn’t sure what the exact problem was but he might have an idea.
“I don’t really know what to pinpoint, I think it’s just coming down to me executing pitches and I haven’t been doing that,” Manaea said. “I think arm strength is there, and it’s just me executing pitches and I haven’t done that.”
Earlier in the broadcast, NBC Sports California’s Glen Kuiper referred to Manaea’s slider as looking rather “snappy,” which, up until the third inning, looked like it was executed beautifully. He had been working on the pitch, adding it to his repertoire since spring training in Arizona, and was looking forward to using it.
Heading into the Friday night matchup, Manaea was throwing his fastball just 43.6 percent of the time, which is a rarity among pitchers, but there was one positive take away from it all. His velocity ticked up slightly.
“For sure,” Manaea said. “Having that velo -- don’t even know what it was, but a couple people told me that it was up just a little bit more, and that’s encouraging. I’ll just keep building off that.”
Manaea wasn’t alone in the defeat, however. Errors by Matt Chapman and J.B. Wendelken, and lack of offensive production made it clear there is a lot that needs to be worked on.
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“We just need to work out a couple kinks,” Manaea said.
“Just a bad couple games,” Manaea added. “That stuff happens. It is what it is, but I think we’ll come back tomorrow and get it right.”