Beware of September results.
On the surface, it looked like Oakland was running out a dominating starter last night against Tampa Bay.
Sean Manaea came into last night’s wild card game with a sparkling 4-0 record and an ERA of 1.21, having made just five last-season starts after missing the first five months of the season on the injured list.
It was like finding a $50 bill in your pants pocket. Oakland thought they had a late season gold handed to them.
It was pyrite.
But when you look closer at those number you realize they were a façade. He didn’t beat anyone tough. He was a big league bully. His four wins came against remedial teams: Detroit, Texas, Texas again, then Seattle. Those were three of the worst lineups in baseball. No wonder he looked good.
This just goes to prove the monumental gap in talent level between the haves and have nots in baseball. When Manaea finally faced an honest-to-goodness talented team, he didn’t even make it out of the third inning.
Tampa Bay jumped all over him, all over Oakland, and beat them like an Athletics fan’s drum. Just like that, Oakland’s brilliant season is over.
September numbers can be deceiving.
October numbers don’t lie.
Miles Mikolas (9-14, 4.16) vs. Dallas Keuchel (8-8, 3.75)
Game time: 4:02 on TBS
Patrick Corbin (14-7, 3.25) vs. Walker Buehler (14-4, 3.26)
Game time: 7:37 on TBS