Doolittle dazzles for A’s in perfect inning of work vs. Diamondbacks

Sean Doolittle is still a work in progress, but he's making strides.

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After lefty Sean Doolittle navigated the eighth inning on Sunday afternoon with ease, striking out Arizona Diamondbacks hitters Yasmany Tomas and A.J. Pollock and preserving the Oakland Athletics’ 4-3 lead, his manager was impressed. 

2015’s been a rough go for Doolittle, who is still easing his way back into the bullpen mix for Bob Melvin’s A’s as they look ahead to next season. 

Said Melvin to’s Jane Lee of Doolittle’s Sunday outing: "Best we’ve seen him, and you can see the confidence grow after the first few pitches."

While the former flame-throwing left-hander didn’t light up the radar gun just yet, he did dip into 93 mph with his fastball. That’s a key development for him, as prior to his rotator cuff injury and left shoulder strain Doolittle made a living throwing fastballs high in the zone to (mostly) overmatched hitters.

Now that he’s more or less getting closer to the type of pitcher he was before suffering those setbacks, the A’s have to be encouraged about the kind of role Doolittle will be able to have for the team moving forward.