Bullpen steps up with historic performance
In June and July, the Oakland A’s often found themselves falling one play short of turning a loss into win. They’re not having that problem so far in August.
The A’s fell behind early on Tuesday and got only five outs from their starting pitcher, but they battled back to tie it up in the 8th and then pushed across a run in the 10th. There are a thousand ways they could have lost this game, but instead they did just enough to beat the Cleveland Indians 4-3 at Progressive Field and earn their fifth straight victory.
By the end of two innings, it appeared this might not be the A’s night. Starter Sean Manaea labored from the get-go, needing 35 pitches just to get through the 1st inning, including a rare walk and a sharp RBI single to put Cleveland on the board. The 2nd was more of the same, full of extremely long at-bats and enough hits to score two more runs. Manaea was pulled with two outs on the board, after throwing another 34 pitches in the frame.
- Manaea: 1⅔ ip, 3 runs, 2 Ks, 3 BB, 5 hits, 69 pitches, 89.5 mph EV
The lefty wasn’t fooling anybody tonight, as Cleveland consistently worked deep counts and made solid contact. In his previous six starts combined he’d totaled five walks to the 142 batters he faced, but in this game he issued three free passes while facing only a dozen batters. On top of that shaky control, his velocity was down a slight tick from his season average.
When reliever Burch Smith entered and recorded the final out of the 2nd inning, Oakland found themselves trailing 3-1 with their bullpen already in the game.
And then yadda yadda yadda, the A’s won. Keep clicking refresh to find out how!