Sean Manaea’s Third Loss

Since it was John Fogerty’s birthday, I listened to his “Centerfield” album.  It was one of my prized CDs because it had the track “Zanz Kant Danz” on it.  I went ahead with work and felt that I wasn’t getting much help.  I was glad to leave and shop for groceries for a while.  When I returned home, I watched the Partridge Family episode “The Forty Year Itch.”  I thought that Ray Bolger was amusing, but it was hard to believe that he could be Shirley’s father.  It was harder to believe that Jackie Coogan could be her father.  I fell asleep in front of the television set, and it wasn’t a refreshing sleep, but I felt that I was ready to go out and catch that 1R bus to the Fruitvale BART station.  The train was crowded.  I got to the Coliseum after 5:30.  I took my seat.  The visiting team was the Detroit Tigers.  Sean Manaea, known as the Throwin’ Samoan, was the A’s starting pitcher.  His ERA was a high 7.36, but he showed some improvement.  He had said that during his last game, he lost his focus in the fourth inning.  That certainly wasn’t the type of comment we wanted to hear from him.  Billy Burns helped out Manaea on the second pitch of the game, when he dived for a ball to catch it for an out.  That was one of the highlights of the game for the A’s.  Manaea had a clean first inning.  He gave up two singles to start the second inning.  One ball hit third base so that Danny Valencia couldn’t field it.  Manaea escaped the inning by getting the next three batters out, two by strikeout.  He got through the third inning by getting two strikeouts after he had allowed a triple.  The fourth inning was a problem for Manaea in his last game against the Yankees, and so we questioned how he would do in the fourth inning this time.  Meanwhile, on offense, the A’s looked lifeless, as only three players reached base in the first seven innings.  Khris Davis singled in the second inning, Chris Coghlan walked in the sixth inning, Jed Lowrie was hit by a pitch in the seventh inning, and that was it.  Manaea started the fourth inning well enough with two outs, but then he gave up three consecutive hits for two runs.  The two hits that drove in runs both came on first pitches.  The Tigers threatened to score in the fifth inning with a double and a fly ball that put the runner on third base with one out.  After an intentional walk to Miguel Cabrera, Manaea got an out on a foul ball, and the runner trying to score was ruled out because of interference by the batter.  It was a play that was discussed quite a bit by the radio announcers, and they had to check the rule book.  I had certainly never seen anything like it in 32 years of games at the Coliseum.  With the first pitch of the sixth inning, Manaea gave up a home run to make the score 3-0.  During the rest of the inning, he walked a batter but picked him off.  In the Big Head race, Rollie Fingers showed superior speed, as Rickey Henderson looked like a different, shorter person.  Manaea lasted one batter into the seventh inning, giving up a double.  Ryan Dull came into the game, and he prevented the inherited runner from scoring, as he has always done so far this season.  He allowed only a walk with two outs.  This Date in A’s History showed Scott Hatteberg hitting a home run in Boston in 2004, as the A’s won that one, 15-2.  Fernando Rodriguez entered the game after Dire Straits’ “Money for Nothing,” and he had a clean inning.  To start the bottom of the inning, Yonder Alonso grounded out to first and Marcus Semien struck out, putting the A’s within four outs of being shut out.  Chris Coghlan had a .153 batting average to start the night, and he had made one out in third inning, but he finally got a hit.  Coco Crisp hit a ball well, but it bounced over the right field fence for a ground rule double, costing the A’s a run.  After a pitching change, Billy Butler came in to pinch hit for Billy Burns, which was a move I found questionable.  Butler has had no home runs yet this season.  Butler struck out to end the inning.  Andrew Triggs pitched the top of the ninth inning.  He got the first two batters out, but then gave up a single and a triple for one run.  Again, the scoring hit came on a first pitch.  Coghlan looked bad in right field on two plays.  He fell down at one point.  Triggs did get the last out, although the score was a discouraging 4-0.  Stephen Vogt started the bottom of the ninth inning with a single.  He was out at second base on a force play with Danny Valencia taking first base.  Valencia took second base on defense indifference, but Jed Lowrie hit the ball hard, just missing a home run.  The A’s had finally scored a run to prevent the shutout.  Khris Davis was unable to get on base to bring the tying run to home plate, as he struck out.  Alonso grounded out to shortstop to end the game.  The game had started with the first pitch at 7:07 with a game time temperature of 69 degrees, and it ended at 9:47.  The attendance was 22,498.  Sean Manaea pitched better than the last time I saw him, but he certainly didn’t get help from his teammates.  Burns, Valencia, Alonso, and Semien were all quiet with their bats.  There was a stretch of 11 consecutive outs.  Manaea did lower his ERA to 7.03.  The only good news I saw on the scoreboard was that the Giants had also lost.  I was hungry.  I listened to the radio postgame show with The A-Team until I reached the tunnel to Lake Merritt.  I then listened to a John Lennon album.  There was an incident on the train where a passenger threatened a woman.  A cop came by, and the guy ran off somewhere.  I hurried on home to watch the eleven o’clock news, and I resisted the temptation to buy a slice of pizza on my way.  I heard that the Cleveland Cavaliers had won to reach the championship series.  Some of the people who died on May 28 include Noah Webster (1843), Audie Murphy (1971), Phil Hartman (1998), Gary Coleman (2010), and Maya Angelou (2014).  Today is a birthday for John Fogerty (71), Gladys Knight (72), and Jerry West (78).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for May 28, Percy Sledge had the Number One single, “When a Man Loves a Woman,” in 1966.  In 1971, Paul McCartney released his second album, “Ram.”  In 1977, John Davidson survived a fire which killed 165 people at the Beverly Hills Supper Club in Southgate, Kentucky.  Also in 1977, Stevie Wonder had the Number One single, “Sir Duke.”  In 1998, Phil Hartman was shot and killed at age 49 by his wife Brynn, who committed suicide several hours later.

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