Manaea outduels King Felix for the win
With Sean Manaea sharp through seven innings of two-hit ball, all it took for the Athletics to beat King Felix in his house was one home run in the first by Jed Lowrie. Hernandez seemed rattled in the first, confused by an overturned baulk call which seemed to throw off his timing. Neither team’s managers understood what happened, and I don’t think the fans or even the umpire did. While Felix Hernandez managed to strike out seven over six-plus innings, it’s clear that had to rely on finesse and precision, with his fastball never breaking 90 miles an hour. Manaea also was stung briefly by a home run to Taylor Motter in the first but retired the next eight batters, needing only 89 pitches to get through seven.
To honour Jackie Robinson’s first major league game, all players on both teams wore the number 42. Jackie Robinson Day was obviously also celebrated across all of baseball, to recognise the importance of breaking the colour barrier, which was a stain on the game for decades.
P.S. My favourite ballpark food from this game, and of 2018 so far was Hempler’s Meats Jalapeño Cheddar Andouille Sausage. Safeco has easily the most diverse food options I’ve come across at any stadium I’ve visited so far.