The A’s have named lefty Sean Manaea their starter for the AL Wild Card game on Wednesday against the Rays.
In five starts since returning from shoulder surgery, Manaea has gone 4-0 with a 1.21 ERA and 0.78 WHIP, with 30 strikeouts compared to seven walks.
Manaea is 1-1 with a 2.70 ERA in three career starts against Tampa Bay.
A’s manager Bob Melvin spoke to media Tuesday and said there was ample discussion on the coaching staff about who would get the ball in the winner-take-all game. Mike Fiers, who has had a fantastic season for Oakland with a 3.91 ERA, was also considered to start.
Melvin added Fiers will be on the roster in case the one-and-done game goes into extra innings and the A’s are in need of a long man.
The Rays will counter with Charlie Morton to the mound, who has been sensational this season. The Rays ace notched a 3.05 ERA with 240 strikeouts in 194 innings this season, earning All-Star honors for the second straight year. He’s also put up solid numbers in two starts against the A’s, limiting them to a .133 batting average with just one run on six hits.
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Wednesday night will mark the A’s first home playoff game since 2013, and it’s shaping up to be one to remember.
With more than 50,000 tickets already sold, the Coliseum appears on target to sell out — yes, even Mount Davis.
“It’s going to be a football-type crowd,” A’s manager Bob Melvin surmised. “It can get pretty raucous here, so we’re excited about having it here.”
Added Oakland outfielder Mark Canha: “I’m very excited. I’ve heard that this place is extremely special this time of year, so I’m excited to see it. We didn’t get to taste it last year, but it will be awesome, I expect.”
It’s not just the A’s who are expecting an electric atmosphere Wednesday night. Rays starting pitcher Charlie Morton spent the previous two seasons in the AL West with the Houston Astros, so he knows how loud the Coliseum can get, even when it’s not sold out.