Sean Manaea’s Bad Fourth Inning

I awoke slowly and watched the CBS This Morning chef segment.  Brian Tsao’s signature recipes include: Beef Bulgogi Tacos, Fried Chicken and Green Tea Waffles, Crispy Calamari with Sweet Chili Sauce, Garlic Sauteed Baby Bok Choy, and Riazul Perfect Paloma.  One other segment was about cartography.  I looked up the American Top 40 playlist for the weekend.  The Top 10 songs on May 20, 1978 were “Night Fever,” “Imaginary Lover,” “Count on Me,” “Feels So Good,” “Shadow Dancing,” “If I Can’t Have You,” “You’re the One That I Want,” “Too Much, Too Little, Too Late,” “The Closer I Get to You,” and “With a Little Luck.”  I went grocery shopping before heading to the Coliseum.  I felt sleepy during batting practice.  After the bad news about Josh Reddick and the latest poor performance from Sonny Gray, the A’s seemed lacking in energy, too.  Sean Manaea was the starting pitcher for the A’s, and he began the game well enough, getting the first nine Yankees batters out.  He had trouble with the lineup the second time through, however.  In the fourth inning, he alternated between giving up a walk and a single to the first four Yankees batters, resulting in one run.  He got two outs, the second one a sacrifice fly, and he was on the verge of getting out of the inning down only 2-0 when he allowed a big double for two more runs.  In the fifth inning, he got two outs before allowing a single.  Danny Valencia committed an error, but Manaea struck out the next batter.  Manaea had one more clean inning left in him, which was the sixth.  After Rickey Henderson won the Big Head race, Manaea allowed a single with one out and a double with two outs, which produced the Yankees’ fifth run.  Bob Melvin brought in John Axford, who got the last out. On offense, the A’s did nothing in five of the nine innings.  They got a two-out single from Marcus Semien in the second inning.  One of the A’s big chances was the third inning, when with one out, Max Muncy, Coco Crisp, and Billy Burns all singled to load the bases.  The Burns hit was a bunt.  A key moment in the game was Valencia’s at-bat, which ended with his being called out on strikes.  Khris Davis followed with a ground ball to third, ending the inning without any runs scored.  The fifth inning began with Matt McBride drawing a walk and Max Muncy singling.  After a force out, Burns walked to load the bases.  Valencia came up in the same situation he faced two innings earlier, but this time he at least hit a sacrifice fly, making the score 4-1.  Khris Davis ended the inning by striking out.  The next nine A’s batters would also make outs, so the bottom of the ninth inning was their last gasp.  We heard Ray Charles’ “Shake a Tail Feather” during the seventh inning stretch.  Axford got into trouble with two singles and a passed ball to begin the eighth inning.  After a strikeout, Melvin called upon Marc Rzepczynski to take the mound, and he got a strikeout and a ground ball to first base to maintain the 5-1 score.  Sean Doolittle pitched the top of the ninth inning.  He walked the first batter, but then got a double play and a strikeout.  Yonder Alonso led off the bottom of the ninth inning with a single, but it didn’t seem likely that the A’s could score four runs in one inning.  Marcus Semien hit a fly ball to center for the first out.  Chris Coghlan fouled out to the third baseman for the second out.  He had gone 0-for-4 in the game, and he had started the day with a .165 batting average.  Alonso took second base, so there was a chance for another run, but then McBride made the last out on a fly ball to center.  The game had started at 1:07 with a game time temperature of 65 degrees and ended at 3:53. The week had started off so well with four consecutive wins, but it ended with three consecutive losses.  I went home to watch some television.  The Star Trek episode on Me TV was “The Doomsday Machine” with William Windom.  His character was hard to believe because he wavered between being a broken man and being to destroy this planet-eating machine.  Some of the people who died on May 22 include Edward Bellamy (1898), Lefty Grove (1975), John Derek (1998), Whitman Mayo (2001), and Martin Gardner (2010).  Today is a birthday for Morrissey (57).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for May 22, Ernie K-Doe had the Number One single “Mother-in-Law” in 1961.  In 1965, The Beatles were at Number One on the singles chart with “Ticket to Ride.”  In 1971, Three Dog Night’s “Joy to the World” was Number One on the singles chart for the sixth week.  In 1976, Paul McCartney reached Number One on the singles chart with “Silly Love Songs.”

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