At the start of the sixth inning yesterday, the Astros were losing 5-0 to the A’s and had yet to record a hit. That changed pretty quickly, as the A’s completely and totally fell apart while allowing the Astros to take the lead on just three hits.
The collapse began with starter Sean Manaea, who had kept the Astros hitless with two walks in his first five innings of work. He then began the sixth with three straight walks. Next came an error from shortstop Adam Rosales that allowed two runs to score. Manaea’s no-hitter was still intact, but it wasn’t pretty, and he was pulled. Reliever Ryan Dull lived up to his name by securing a routine end to the inning, but the damage kept coming in the seventh.
All three hits of the Astros’ comeback came here; all three were singles, adding two more runs to the board. Down 5-4, Houston experienced the rest of the A’s meltdown in the eighth.
Santiago Casilla, author of so many collapses for the Giants last year, began the inning by walking two. Pulled in favor of Sean Doolittle after a sac bunt moved the runners over, he then watched one run score on a wild pitch to tie the game and another on a sac fly to give the Astros the lead. In all—six runs, six walks, three hits, two errors and one wild pitch in a three-inning comeback. Houston went on to score four more runs, winning 10-6.
One takeaway here is that the Astros have managed to come from behind like this multiple times to match their best start in franchise history at 8-4; a more pertinent takeaway is that the A’s are somehow really this damn miserable.