OAKLAND – Jesse Chavez benefited from some big offensive backing Sunday, but that didn’t diminish the effort that the right-hander turned in against the New York Yankees.
Chavez gave up just one run and five hits over six innings in the A’s 10-5 victory. Also worth noting, he did not walk a batter for the first time since April 14.
“I thought it was similar to what we were seeing real early in the season,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “You could tell right away he was on it pretty good – the cutter to both sides of the plate and a good curve ball that created a gap between the hard stuff and off-speed stuff. It’s not like he was pitching poorly (recently), but this is the type of outing we were seeing early in the year.”
After posting a 1.89 ERA in April, Chavez (6-4) entered Sunday with a 4.07 ERA over seven starts in May and June. He said the biggest difference between Sunday and his previous several outings was putting hitters away once he got ahead in the count.
Melvin brought the hook after just six innings, with Chavez at just 87 pitches. But that was by design. This is Chavez’s first season as a full-time major league starter, and Melvin wants to monitor his workload when possible.
[REWIND: Norris, A's get their power restored]
Chavez is at 86 innings right now through 14 starts.
“He’s at a point now that if I can do something like that to cut him short for a long season … If he gets close to 200 innings, he’s never been there before, Melvin said. “There will be times when I’m looking to try to pull the plug (early).”
Notes: A scary moment took place in the fourth when A’s left fielder Craig Gentry got hit in the helmet by a pitch from Yankees reliever Jose Ramirez. Thankfully for Gentry, it was an 81 mile-per-hour offspeed pitch and not a fastball. But it still caught Gentry flush and kept him on the ground for a few minutes while he was attended to. He stayed in and after the game said he was doing fine. … Catcher Derek Norris, who has been struck in the head three times with the bat recently on hitters’ follow-throughs, took a foul tip off the left hand. But he also said afterward he was doing OK.