OAKLAND — Since the franchise’s beginning in 1901, the A’s have actually taped 13 no-hitters. The method Frankie Montas was bring himself on the mound Thursday afternoon, it sure appeared like he was on an objective to contribute to his own historical efficiency.
Carrying a no-hitter into the 8th inning of what ended as a 2-1 loss to the Mariners at the Coliseum, Montas’ supremacy on the mound was consulted with little resistance from Seattle’s lineup. The no-no flirtation ended after Adam Frazier slashed an opposite-field single to entrusted to 2 outs in the 8th. Nonetheless, it was an outstanding efficiency from Montas, who signed up 8 strikeouts throughout 8 beautiful scoreless innings, enabling simply 2 hits and 2 strolls.
It was a herculean effort that went unrewarded. After Montas left, Zach Jackson and A.J. Puk stopped working to hold up a one-run lead in the ninth, with a set of wild pitches from Puk enabling the connecting and consent goes to rating.
“Frankie goes out and dominates again,” supervisor Mark Kotsay stated. “Frankie had his best stuff today. A reflection of how deep he went without giving up a hit. It was a baseball game we should have won.”
With the last-place A’s scuffling through a restoring season, Montas has actually become an elite trade chip ahead of the Aug. 2 Trade Deadline. Given the things he showed Thursday, it’s simple to see why groups are excitedly positioning calls to Oakland’s front workplace in the hope of obtaining his services.
Pitching on 5 days off, Montas’ blazing fastball appeared to have a lot more zip than normal, maxing out at 99.1 miles per hour. That speed stayed consistent throughout. His 102nd and last pitch of the day, which caused an inning-ending groundout out of J.P. Crawford in the 8th, was clocked at 98.5 miles per hour.
Lowering his age to 3.21 on the year, Montas ranks 2nd amongst AL beginners in innings pitched (89 2/3), 5th in strikeouts (92), 10th in WHIP (1.08) and 12th in challengers’ batting average (.225).
“Frankie’s been pretty much dealing all season,” stated A’s catcher Christian Bethancourt. “Today was just another day for him. He was making pitches. Early on, he wasn’t getting some pitches close in the strike zone and then he started getting them as the game was going. He never came off his strength.”
That strength was a fastball Montas preferred greatly. He tossed the heating unit for 42 of his 102 pitches, producing 5 of his 12 whiffs (swing-and-misses) with it and utilizing it as the putaway pitch for 5 of his 8 strikeouts.
Making Montas’ skillful efficiency even more outstanding is the truth that it began a day in which he tossed his splitter — a pitch that has actually become among the more unhittable offerings in baseball this season — simply 19 times.
“This might have been my best fastball day,” Montas stated. “My fastball was pretty good. Cutter was working. I don’t think I threw that many splitters, and that’s my go-to pitch. But I was feeling good with the fastball and it was working today.”
When a pitcher takes a no-hit quote this deep, there’s typically a point in the contest where they recognize the gravity of the circumstance. Montas, however, was too secured to think of it.
His focus appeared from the dive. Montas retired the very first 3 batters of the ballgame on 4 pitches. From then on, he continually pounded the zone. Of his 28 batters dealt with, Montas fired 18 first-pitch strikes. When the Mariners did make contact, it was mainly weak, as Seattle’s players balanced an exit speed of simply 86.4 miles per hour on the 18 balls strike in play versus him.
“To be honest, I wasn’t really feeling like something special was happening,” Montas stated. “I wasn’t really thinking about hits or whatever. Just make good pitches and do my job.”
Upon finishing the 8th inning, Montas took a slower-than-normal walk back to the A’s dugout. As his walkout tune, “Pa’ Que Retozen” by Tego Calderón, blasted over the Coliseum speakers, Montas got a standing ovation from the Oakland crowd. In reaction, the right-hander revealed gratitude for the gesture by carefully clapping his glove in the air prior to going back to a hero’s welcome from his colleagues.
Montas doesn’t categorize as homegrown skill, however it definitely feels that method. Acquired from the Dodgers in a 2016 trade, it’s within the A’s company that he’s changed from simply a tough thrower into among baseball’s most dominant pitchers.
Now with the A’s anticipated to look for pieces to construct towards the future at the upcoming Trade Deadline, Montas might quickly discover himself pitching in another uniform. But his contribution to this present group has actually currently been indispensable, especially for the more youthful pitchers on the lineup.
“Frankie’s a fierce competitor and leader on the staff,” Kotsay stated. “A guy that goes out every fifth day and gives you all he’s got. Every time he takes the mound, he’s prepared. A reflection of the grind and grit we talk about in this organization that it takes to have success.”