Sept. 27-- Even over the short span of 60 games, Frankie Montas managed to reach the deepest valleys and highest peaks. He started with a 1.57 ERA, then succumbed to the pains of a back injury that threw his mechanics off kilter and sunk his confidence at the worst time.
In the final game of the regular season, Montas found himself again. Big time. He struck out a career-high 13 Seattle Mariners and allowed two runs, both unearned, in six innings of work to usher in the A's 6-2, regular season concluding win Sunday afternoon.
Manager Bob Melvin let Montas loose with the pitch count, the right-hander threw 113 pitches in his best start since early August. That Montas pitched Sunday eliminated his shot at a start in the wild card series, but his performance could nudge him into a key role out of the wild card in a high-leverage situation.
His high pitch count Sunday might force the A's to push that appearance to a possible Game 3. If the A's can get beyond the first series, they should at least be encouraged that Montas might be at his best for a postseason start. Though his splitter hasn't been the putout pitch it was in 2019, Montas worked well with his slider and fastball-getting 12 of his 13 strikeouts off them. He got Tim Lopes swinging at a splitter
Mark Canha continued his hot streak Sunday, which is a good sign for an offense that was looking listless. He accounted for four of the A's runs, including an RBI double, to round out a 6-for-11 series against Seattle with five walks.
Jake Lamb hit his third home run with the A's, he's now batting .267 with an .868 OPS in his Oakland revival.
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