Athletics starter Sean Manaea struck out Seattle Mariners infielder J.P. Crawford on a changeup in the bottom of the seventh inning on Thursday night at T-Mobile Park to set a career-high of 13 punch outs.
Manaea exceeded his previous career-high of 11 strikeouts, which occurred this very season against the New York Yankees in a 2-1 loss on June 20.
The consistency Manaea has displayed this season was the ultimate goal he set for himself as he left spring training. He has put in a lot of work since the devastating 2019 AL Wild Card Game loss.
He has evolved since then, and even before that when he realized his velocity wasn’t going to be what it was when he was 23 years old. Although Thursday night's performance showed he still has some fire behind those fastballs. His confidence shows, and the swing and misses backs that up as well.
“Like when to push the gas pedal and when to back off,” Manaea said back in February. “Obviously, that comes with experience so ... I’m not the greatest at it, but that’s what’s changed over the last couple of years.”
The A’s led 2-1 when Manaea exited after seven strong innings after Mariners catcher Tom Murphy hit a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to put the team on the board. But the A's would walk away with the 4-1 win at the end of the ninth.