Saturday, June 22, 2024
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MLB Preview: Atlanta Braves (32-21) at Oakland Athletics (10-45)

ATLANTA BRAVES NOTES:

Streak vs. Oakland
Atlanta went a perfect 4-0 in games against Oakland last season, and has not lost to the A’s since May 17, 2008, a streak of 11 consecutive victories. The run is the longest active winning streak by any team against the Athletics, and the longest since Seattle won 13 straight versus Oakland in 2021-22. The Braves have outscored the A’s, 64-33, during the streak, although six of the 11 wins have come by just one run

TONIGHT’S GAME: The Braves and Athletics tonight begin a three-game series in what is the only scheduled meeting between the clubs this season… Atlanta and Oakland played just last season, with the Braves winning all four contests.

  • The Braves and A’s are playing in back-to-back seasons for the first time in history, and have played just 19 total games since the advent of interleague play in 1997…Atlanta is 15-4 (.789) all-time against Oakland, its best record against any A.L. team.
  • The Braves extended their winning streak over Oakland to 11 consecutive games last season and have not lost to the Athletics since May 17, 2008… RHP Rich Harden started for Oakland that day, while former Athletic RHP Tim Hudson pitched for Atlanta in the loss, 5-4…Oakland’s current manager, Mark Kotsay, started in center field for Atlanta that night and went 1-for-4.
  • Since 1990, Atlanta has won at least 11 consecutive games against a single opponent just three other times…The Braves beat the Rockies in 16 straight games from 1993-’94, and Atlanta beat the Giants in 12 straight games and the Marlins 11 consecutive times from 1994-’95.
  • The Braves have played just eight games all-time here in Oakland, and after dropping their first game here have won each of the last seven…Atlanta has not lost here since June 10, 2003.
  • Atlanta has dropped the season set to Oakland just once in the six seasons in which the two teams have met, going 1-2 over three games in 2005.
  • RH Paul Blackburn is set to make his season debut for the A’s after missing their first 55 games with a finger injury…The 2022 A.L. All-Star has made just one career appearance against Atlanta, pitching 6.0 innings and allowing just one unearned run in a start in 2017… The 6-foot-1, 196-pound native of Antioch, CA went 7-6 with a 4.28 ERA (53 ER/111.1 IP) over 21 starts last season.

WIN: Atlanta scored seven first-inning runs and never trailed last night, beating Philadelphia, 11-4…The Braves collected a season-most 20 hits, including a career high-tying four from Ronald Acuña Jr.

  • Atlanta became the fifth club to have at least 20 hits in a game this season, joining Philadelphia (twice), Toronto, Chicago (N.L.) and San Francisco…The 20 hits were the Braves’ most within a single game since June 30, 2021 vs. New York (N.L.), when they also had 20.
  • The game marked the third time this season that each player in the Braves starting lineup recorded at least one hit, joining May 13 at Texas and May 3 at Miami…Additionally, it was the first time Atlanta had at least seven players with multiple its in a game since May 21, 2021,
    in a 20-1 win over Pittsburgh.
  • The top four hitters in Atlanta’s lineup – Ronald Acuña Jr, Matt Olson, Austin Riley and Sean Murphy – combined for 12 hits and nine RBI.

MICHAEL SOROKA: The Braves today recalled RHP
Michael Soroka from Triple-A Gwinnett, and he will start tonight…It marks his first major league appearance since August 3, 2020, a span of 1,030 total days.

  • Soroka suffered a torn right achilles in his start on August 3, 2020 vs. the Mets and missed the remainder of that season…He again suffered a tear of the same achilles in June of 2021…He returned to the mound for the first time since the initial injury on August 16 of last season, and made six starts in the minors last year.
  • In eight starts with Triple-A Gwinnett this season, he is 1-2 with a 4.33 ERA (17 ER/35.1 IP), and has allowed just four hits and two runs over his last 10.2 innings.
  • Soroka is 15-6 with a 2.86 ERA (68 ER/214.0 IP) in 37 career starts for Atlanta, including a 13-4 record and a 2.68 ERA in 2019, his only full season with the Braves…He earned N.L. All-Star honors that year, and finished second in Rookie of the Year balloting.
  • Since his debut in 2018, 213 pitchers have made at least 37 starts in the majors…Soroka’s 2.86 ERA in that span is seventh lowest, higher than just Jacob deGrom (2.08), Tony Gonsolin (2.44), Justin Verlander (2.44), Max Scherzer (2.70), Shane McClanahan (2.75) and Julio Urías (2.79).
  • Since Soroka last appeared, 2,175 different players have pitched in the majors, including 113 for Atlanta.

FIRST INNING: The Braves plated seven runs in the first inning last night, the most runs Atlanta has scored in the first inning since April 7, 2015 at Miami…The Braves’ 51 total first-inning runs are the most in MLB, seven more than any other team.

  • Per MLB’s Sarah Langs, Atlanta’s 51 first-inning runs and 77 first-inning hits are the most by any team in any inning this season, and the Braves’ 17 first-inning homers are tied with the Yankees (17 in the 5th inning) for the most by any team in any inning.
  • Matt Olson and Austin Riley both homered in yesterday’s first inning, and are tied for tops in the majors with 14 total RBI in the frame…Olson’s seven first-inning homers are tied with Aaron Judge for most in baseball.
  • Atlanta has scored at least one run in the first inning in seven of their last 10 games, and has scored at least one first-inning run in 24 games this season…That total is tied for the major league lead with Tampa Bay and St. Louis.

RILEY STREAKING: Austin Riley went 2-for-5 with a homer and two RBI last night, and has hit in a season-best 11 straight games dating to May 17…He is batting .372/.391/.721 with six doubles and three homers in that span.

  • Riley has had just two longer streaks during his career – a 12-game stretch in 2021, and an 18-game run last year.

Tonight’s Starting Pitcher – #40 Michael Soroka RHP
Career Record: 15-6, 2.86 ERA

  • 2023 MiLB Record: 1-2, 4.33 ERA vs. RHB: .000 (0-for-0), 0 HR
  • vs. LHB: .000 (0-for-0), 0 HR Home: 0-0, 0.00 ERA (0 ER/0.0)
  • Away: 0-0, 0.00 ERA (0/0.0)

Today’s Game

  • Soroka is set to make his start since August 3, 2020.
  • Will be his 38th career start.
  • Today will mark 1,030 days between starts.
  • Missed 486 games with a torn achilles.
  • In seven starts with Triple-A Gwinnett, Soroka went 1-2 with a 4.33 ERA.
  • Struck out 21 hitters over 18.2 innings pitched through his last four starts and pitching to a 3.86 ERA

OAKLAND ATHLETICS NOTES:

ABOUT THE A’S: Have a season-high 11-game losing streak and have lost 14 of the last 15 games and 19 of the last 21…are 10-45 (.182) overall,
which is the second worst record after 55 games by an AL, NL or FL team since 1900…the worst is 9-43 (.173) by the 1904 Senators (had three games called with the score tied…lost games 56-57)…won the first game of the season but are 9-45 since then, which is the worst 54-game stretch by any team since the Diamondbacks went 9-45 from May 17-July 18, 2021…have been swept in each of the last three series and eight times this year…have lost each of the last six series and are 1-16-0 in series play…lost each of the first 10 series before taking two of three at Kansas City, May 5-7.

A’s IN MAY: The A’s are 4-22 (.154) in May, which is the lowest winning percentage in the majors (Pirates, 6-17/.261)…the lowest winning percentage in May in Athletics history is .190 (4-17) in 1919…the lowest winning percentage in any month in Oakland history (min. 10 games) is .172 (5-24) in June, 1979…the 22 losses in May match the 1954 Philadelphia A’s for the most in May in Athletics history…the most losses in any month in Oakland history is 24 in June, 1979…went 5-23 (.179) in April, which was also the worst record in the majors…set a Major League record for most losses in April…this is the 16th 20-loss month in Oakland history, the fourth in the last two years…it is the second time since 1954 the A’s have back-to-back 20-loss months…the other time was in May and June last year when they had 21 each month… have compiled a 5.92 ERA (150 er in 228.0 ip) in May, which is the highest in the majors, after posting a 7.97 ERA in April…the only time in Oakland history the A’s had a May ERA above 5.70 was in 1997 (6.62)…have surrendered 46 home runs, which is second most in May in Athletics history (57 in 1964) and third most in any month in Oakland history (50 in April, 2023; 48 in Sept. 2105)…have scored 76 runs, which is third fewest in the majors…the only time in Oakland history the A’s scored fewer than 86 runs in May was in 1978 (79)…have 24 stolen bases, which is tied for second most in the majors and is the most by an A’s team in May since 1995 when they also had 24…are batting .210 (181-for-860), which is the lowest mark in the majors…the lowest May in Oakland history is .210 in 2012.

OFFENSE: The A’s have scored three runs or fewer in each of the last 11 games, which matches the longest such streak in Oakland history (July 3-16, 2007)… are batting .178 (60-for-342) with 19 runs scored, 12 doubles, four home runs and 27 walks over the last 11 games…overall, have the lowest batting average in the majors (.220), the second lowest OPS (.657), third lowest slugging percentage (.359) and fourth lowest on-base percentage (.298)…rank second in fewest runs (189), third in most strikeouts (519) and fewest doubles (73) and tied for fourth in fewest extra base hits (135)…have the most sacrifice hits (12) and rank fourth in hit by pitches (30)…have been shut out seven times, which is tied for second most in the majors (Royals, 8)…A’s pinch hitters lead the majors in hits (13) and are tied for the lead in walks (8).

PITCHING: The A’s allowed an Oakland-record tying seven home runs yesterday (fourth time, last: Aug. 4, 2022 at Los Angeles-AL)…it was the seventh game of seven or more home runs in Athletics history and fell one short of the record of eight by the Philadelphia A’s in the first game of a June 28, 1939 doubleheader against New York…have allowed 96 home runs for the season, which is the most in the majors…are on pace to allow 283 home runs, which would be second most in Major League history to the 2019 Orioles (305)… have a 6.87 ERA, which is the highest in the majors…according to the Elias Sports Bureau, the highest ERA by an AL or NL team since the earned run became an official stat is 6.70 by the 1930 Philadelphia Phillies…also have the highest opponents OPS (.875), batting average (.282), on-base percentage (.375) and slugging percentage (.500) in the majors this year…lead the majors in most walks (259) and hit batters (39), have the second most wild pitches (28) and the fifth fewest strikeouts (415)…have surrendered six grand slams, which are the most in the majors and tied for fifth most in a season in Athletics history (8 in 1993 and 1999, 7 in 1954 and 1997).

STARTING PITCHING: A’s starting pitchers are 0-13 with a 6.05 ERA (65 er in 96.2 ip) in the 21 games since recording their only two wins of the season on May 5 and 6 at Kansas City…went 0-16 over the first 32 games and are 2-29 with a 7.19 ERA for the season…the ERA is the highest in the majors and no other team has fewer than eight wins from its starters…have the fourth fewest innings pitched (259.0).

FOR OPENERS: The A’s have used an “opener” three times this year, all in the last five games…A’s openers are 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA (3.0 ip, 6 h, 3 r, 3 er, 3 so) and the “main” pitchers in those games are 0-2 with a 6.92 ERA (13.0 ip, 16 h, 10 r, 10 er, 7 bb, 17 so)…have lost all three games…used an opener nine times in 2018 (all in September) and three times in 2019 (none after June 5).

THE BULLPEN: The A’s bullpen is 0-for-1 in save opportunities over the last 21 games…is 4-for-14 (28.6%) in save opportunities for the season…has the lowest save percentage and fewest saves in the majors and the 10 blown saves are tied for 10th most…has the highest ERA in the majors (6.50) and the second most innings pitched (223.0)…has allowed 43-of-103 (41.7%) inherited runners to score, which is the fourth highest percentage…has the third most inherited runners.

ON THE BASES: A’s pitchers are tied for third in the majors in pickoffs (5)… opponents are 42-for-59 (71.2%) in stolen base attempts, which is the sixth lowest success rate in the majors…the 17 caught stealings are second most (Rockies, 18) but the A’s are tied for the 10th most stolen bases allowed…offensively, the A’s are 53-for-65 (81.5%) in stolen base attempts…rank third in the majors in stolen bases and attempts and 10th in stolen base percentage.

HOME AND AWAY: The A’s are 0-3 on this six-game homestand against Houston (0-3) and Atlanta (three games)…went 2-5 on the last homestand against Texas (1-3) and Arizona (1-2) and are 5-23 (.179) at home, which is the lowest home winning percentage in the majors…have lost each of the nine home series this year, which is one short of the Oakland record for consecutive home series lost, set last year from April 22-June 23 (10)…went 0-7 on the last road trip to Houston (0-3) and Seattle (0-4) and are 5-22 (.185) on the road, which is the worst road record in the majors.

WINNING LATE: The A’s have scored the winning run in their final at bat in seven of their 10 wins…have five wins when tied after seven innings, three when trailing after seven innings and two when leading after seven inning… are tied for the third most wins in the majors when tied after seven innings and are tied for seventh in wins when trailing after seven innings…however, no other team has fewer than 12 wins when leading after seven innings… are 3-4 (.429) in extra inning games…are tied for third in the majors in extra inning losses, tied for fifth in games (7) and tied for sixth in wins…have four walk-off wins, which is tied for second most in the majors (Yankees, 5).

RUN DIFFERENTIAL: The A’s lost 10-1 yesterday, which was their ninth loss by nine or more runs this year…that matches the 1996 A’s for the second most such losses in Oakland history (had 11 in 1979)…seven of the A’s 10 wins have been by one run and Oakland is 7-10 (.412) in one-run games…are tied for sixth in the majors in one-run losses and tied for ninth in games (17)…have a run differential of -199, which is the lowest in the majors…had a run differential of -202 all last year, which was second lowest in Oakland history (-287 in 1979).

A’S VS. BRAVES

  • The A’s went 0-4 against Atlanta last year and now have an 11-game losing streak against the Braves…that is their longest losing streak against a National League team and tied for sixth longest against any team.
  • Last defeated Atlanta on May 17, 2008 at Turner Field (5-4)…Mark Kotsay was the starting center fielder for the Braves that day and Tim Hudson took the loss.
  • Are 4-15 (.211) all-time against the Braves, which is the A’s worst record against any team.

Year Home Road Totals
2023 0-0 0-0 0-0
2022 0-2 0-2 0-4

Oakland History: 4-15
at the Coliseum: 1-7
at Truist Park: 0-2

TODAY’S TIDBITS
The A’s are 28-23 on Memorial Day since moving to Oakland in 1968…that includes 20-13 in Oakland and 8-10 on the road…have lost four of their last five games…this will be the A’s second Memorial Day game against a National League team…defeated the Giants 4-1 in 2013…Ryan Noda leads Major League rookies in on-base percentage (.400) and walks (33), ranks fourth in OPS (.851), sixth in doubles (11), tied for sixth in extra base hits (17), tied for seventh in runs (26), eighth in slugging (.451) and tied for 10th in home runs (5)…Esteury Ruiz leads ML rookies in hits (57), stolen bases (27) and hit by pitches (11), is tied for second in doubles (13), ranks sixth in RBI (22), ninth in extra base hits (15) and tied for 10th in runs (23)

TODAY’S STARTING PITCHER: Paul Blackburn (2023 debut)
FOR STARTERS: Was reinstated from the injured list today and is scheduled to make his first Major League appearance since a start on Aug. 4, 2022 at Los Angeles (AL)…ended the 2022 season on the injured list (originally with an inflamed right middle finger and later with a tear of the flexor tendon sheath) and began the 2023 season on the 15-day IL with a right middle fingernail avulsion…made three rehab starts with Single-A Stockton and Triple-A Las Vegas from April 7-16 before his rehab assignment was halted… resumed on May 14 and made three more starts with the Aviators…had no decisions, a 7.50 ERA and 1.012 OPS in six rehab starts overall.

REHAB ASSIGNMENT: Was 0-0 with a 7.50 ERA and 1.012 OPS on a six-start rehab assignment with Single-A Stockton and Triple-A Las Vegas…opponents went 33-for-83 (.398)…walked six and struck out 10 in 18.0 innings while allowing 18 runs, 15 earned…his opponents batting average broke down to .375 (12-for-32) against left-handed hitters compared to .412 (21-for-51) against right-handers…opponents were 10-for-26 (.385) with runners in scoring position…they were 7-for-14 (.500) with two home runs when putting the first pitch in play…was assigned to Stockton on April 7 and allowed three runs on seven hits in 1.2 innings…was transferred to Las Vegas on April 11 and tossed 3.0 scoreless innings that day against Salt Lake…faced the Bees again on April 16 and allowed four runs in six hits in 2.2 innings before his rehab assigned was stopped due to a blister…was sent back to Las Vegas on May 13 and allowed four runs on six hits in 2.0 innings the next day against Albuquerque…then surrendered six runs on seven hits in 3.2 innings at Salt Lake on May 19.

LAST MINOR LEAGUE START: He had a no decision in the Aviators 5-4, 10-inning loss at Tacoma last Wednesday…allowed just one run in 5.0 innings of work, a Cade Marlow RBI double in the third…Las Vegas then scored three times in the sixth to give him a 3-1 lead and he was relieved by Chad Smith to start the bottom of the sixth…the Rainiers scored single runs in the seventh and ninth to tie the game.

World Elite Syndicate

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