The A's began their first road trip of the season with a tough 5-3 loss to the Seattle Mariners on Friday night. The vibe felt different, but perhaps not as different as one would seem in the midst of a pandemic.
T-Mobile Park was also filled with cardboard cutouts of fans, but the absence of cheering people wasn't the only thing missing. The A's lacked offensive production and once again were forced to wait for Sean Manaea to make it successfully past the third inning.
Mariners starter Taijuan Walker put up a solid night, throwing seven shutout innings and was rolling through the A's lineup without a fear in the world. But that wasn't the case for Oakland.
Here's what you might have missed in Friday's game:
Sean Manaea's looking better, but …
"That slider is a little bit snappy tonight."
A's broadcaster Glen Kuiper wasn't wrong about Manaea's outing and his specialty pitch. Manaea's velocity on his fastball was sitting around 92 mph heading into the fourth inning after retiring the first nine batters he faced.
The slider is the pitch Manaea had been working on since spring training in Arizona and he told reporters recently it was "going to be huge" to add that into his pitching repertoire. It must have been considering he was only throwing his fastball about 43.6 percent of the time heading into Friday's game.
However, in the bottom of the fourth, Kyle Seager, who has had a ton of exposure to Manaea, hit a two-run double to put the Mariners up, 2-0.
Manaea gave up another run in the fourth and two more in the fifth, and despite his desire to go deep in outings, manager Bob Melvin was forced to go J.B. Wendelken with one out in the fifth.
Where's the defense?
We made the joke that Matt Chapman made his only error of the season on Opening Day against the Los Angeles Angels, but it appeared history repeated itself.
Chapman made a throwing error on an Austin Nola ground ball in the fourth inning which caused a run to score. That's not very characteristic of Chapman.
An inning later, Wendelken fielded a comebacker and tried to start a double play but made a bad throw to second baseman Tony Kemp and shortstop Marcus Semien. The Mariners scored on the play to take a 4-0 lead.
Not much hitting going on
Semien got his first two RBI of the season in the top of the eighth inning on a triple to finally put the A's on the board.
Before that, there was quite a gap in production. The A's had Just one hit through seven innings, a double from Ramón Laureano in the top of the fourth.
Despite the Mariners' "Noise-o-Meter" pretending to measure the sound being piped in through the speakers, the A's did not reciprocate such things when it came to their bats.
A's takeaways: What you might have missed in 5-3 loss vs. Mariners originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area