Wednesday, May 31, 2023
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MLB Preview: Oakland Athletics (10-37) at Houston Astros (26-19)


ABOUT THE A’S: Have lost the first two games against the Astros on this road trip and have lost 11 of the last 13 games…are 4-14 (.222) in May after going 5-23 (.179) in April…are 10-37 (.213) overall, which is the worst record in the majors (Royals, 14-33/.298)…it is the worst record in Athletics history after 47 games and is tied for third worst by an AL, NL or FL team since 1901…it is the worst since the 1988 Orioles started the year 9-38…the lowest winning percentage in American League history is .235 by the 1916 Philadelphia A’s (36-117)…are 1-14-0 in series play and have been swept six times…lost each of the first 10 series, won two of three at Kansas City from May 5-7, and have lost each of the last four series.

OFFENSE: The A’s have the fourth lowest batting average in the majors (.229), the sixth lowest OPS (.687), sixth lowest slugging percentage (.378) and seventh lowest on-base percentage (.310)…are tied for the most strikeouts (445), the fourth fewest doubles (64), have the fifth fewest runs (176) and the ninth fewest extra base hits (123)…have the most sacrifice hits (11), the third most hit by pitches (27), are tied for fifth in intentional walks (7) and are tied for eighth in walks (161)…the seven intentional walks match the A’s season total from last year…have been shut out twice in the last nine games and six times overall, which is tied for third most in the majors (Mets, 7; Royals, 8)…A’s pinch hitters are 10-for-40 (.250) with eight walks (.375 on-base percentage)…are tied for the ML lead in pinch walks and are tied for third in pinch hits.

PITCHING: The A’s have compiled a 5.87 ERA (105 er in 161.0 ip) in May after posting a 7.97 ERA in April…have a 7.00 ERA for the season, which is the highest in the majors (Royals, 5.19)…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…the A’s have allowed 342 runs, which is an average of 7.3 per game…are on pace to allow 1179 runs and the modern Major League record is 1199 by the 1930 Phillies…also have the highest opponents OPS (.880), batting average (.284), on-base percentage (.377) and slugging percentage (.502) in the majors this year…lead the majors in most walks (228), hit batters (33) and wild pitches (25) and have the sixth fewest strikeouts (355).

THE LONG BALL: The A’s have allowed at least one home run in each of the last 23 games (38 home runs total), which is the longest streak in Athletics history (previous: 17, July 26-Aug. 14, 1964)…the longest in AL or NL history since 1901 is 26 (three times, last: Orioles from June 1-28, 2017)…have yielded 81 home runs for the season, which is the most in the majors (White Sox, 68)…have six grand slams, which are the most in the majors (three teams with 3) 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 0-8 with a 6.19 ERA (47 er in 68.1 ip) in the 13 games since recording their only two wins of the season on May 5 and 6 at Kansas City…are 2-24 with a 7.37 ERA for the season…the ERA is the highest in the majors (Reds, 6.18) and no other team has fewer than six wins from its starters…have the seventh fewest innings pitched (230.2)… went 0-16 over the first 32 games.

THE BULLPEN: The A’s bullpen has a 6.54 ERA, which is the highest in the majors (White Sox, 5.40)…is 4-for-13 (30.8%) in save opportunities… has the lowest save percentage and fewest saves and the nine blown saves are tied for seventh most…has allowed 41-of-93 (44.1%) inherited runners to score, which is the sixth highest percentage…has the third most inherited runners (Reds, 98)…has 184.1 innings pitched, which is fourth most (Rays, 198.0).

ON THE BASES: The A’s are 46-for-57 (80.7%) in stolen base attempts…rank third in the majors in stolen base attempts and in stolen bases…the 44 steals are the most by an A’s team over the first 46 games since 2005 (44)…A’s opponents are 39-for-55 (70.9%) in stolen base attempts, which is the fifth lowest success rate in the majors…the 16 caught stealings are second most (Rockies, 18) but the A’s are tied for the sixth most stolen bases allowed…A’s pitchers have four pickoffs, which is tied for third most in the majors (Brewers and Royals, 5).

HOME AND AWAY: The A’s began a seven-game road trip to Houston (0-2) and Seattle (four games) last night…went 2-4 on the last road trip to Kansas City (2-1) and New York-AL (0-3) and are 5-17 (.227) on the road, which is the worst road record in the majors (White Sox, 7-16/.304)…went 2-5 on the last homestand against Texas (1-3) and Arizona (1-2) and are 5-20 (.200) at home, which is the lowest home winning percentage in the majors (Royals, 6-17/.261)…have compiled a 5.99 ERA at home compared to 8.31 (166 er in 182.0 ip) on the road…are hitting .212 with 82 runs in 25 home games (3.3 runs per game) compared to .248 (186-for-750) with 94 runs in 22 road games (4.3 runs per game).

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 Major League lead in wins when tied after seven innings and are tied for sixth in wins when trailing after seven innings…however, no other team has fewer than 11 wins when leading after seven innings… are 3-4 (.429) in extra inning games…are tied with the Guardians, Mariners and Twins for the most extra inning games in the majors (7), are tied for the second most losses and are tied for fifth in wins…have four walk-off wins, which is tied for the most in the majors (Blue Jays, Red Sox).

RUN DIFFERENTIAL: Seven of the A’s 10 wins have been by one run and Oakland is 7-8 (.467) in one-run games…are tied for eighth in the majors in one-run games (15) and tied for 10th in wins and eighth in losses…however, have lost six games by 10 or more runs, which matches the A’s combined total from the previous four seasons and is the most since 2008 when they had eight such losses…have a run differential of -166, which is the lowest in the majors (Royals, -68)…the lowest in Athletics history is -344 by the 1915 Philadelphia A’s and the lowest by an AL or NL team since 1901 is -349 by the 1932 Boston Red Sox.

NIGHT AND DAY: The A’s are 9-18 (.333) in night games and 1-19 (.050) during the day…are batting .258 (244-for-944) with 126 runs in 27 night games (4.7 runs per game), .185 (118-for-637) with 50 runs in 20 day games (2.5 runs per game)…have the lowest day batting average in the majors and the seventh best night batting average.

PLAYERS USED: The A’s have used 43 players, which is the most in the majors (Mets, 40)…employed a franchise record 64 players last year…28 of the 43 have been pitchers, which is also the most in the majors (Rays, 25)…tied an Athletics record with 34 pitchers last year…12 of the 43 are rookies after using an Oakland-record 34 rookies last year…seven have made their Major League debuts…had 23 do that last year.

THIS AND THAT: The A’s placed Drew Rucinski on the injured list yesterday and have now used the IL 15 times, including 11 times for pitchers…currently have 10 players on the IL, including eight pitchers…did not commit an error in the three-game series against Arizona after making a season-high four errors a week ago today against Texas…have 31 errors overall, which is third in the majors…have nine outfield assists, which is tied for third most (Royals, 11; Braves, 10)…have an average time of game of 2:50, which is the longest in the majors by five minutes (Orioles, 2:45)…however, have not averaged under 2:53 per game since 2010 (2:43).


  • The A’s lost the season series last year for the seventh time in the last eight years.
  • Are now 59-86 (.407) against Houston dating back to 2015 after winning each of their first four season series against the Astros (31-13, .705).
  • Have lost eight of the last nine games, all of which have been at Minute Maid Park…have won three straight and four of the last five in Oakland.

Year Home Road Totals
2023 0-0 0-2 0-2
2022 4-5 3-7 7-12

Oakland History: 90-99
at the Coliseum: 50-46
at Minute Maid Park: 40-53

Jesús Aguilar is batting .317 (13-for-41) with four of his five home runs, eight of his nine RBI and a 1.018 OPS against left-handed pitchers…Esteury Ruiz has hit safely in his last five games (9-for-22, .409).

TODAY’S STARTING PITCHER: James Kaprielian (0-3, 10.17 ERA)
FOR STARTERS: Was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas yesterday for his third stint with the A’s this year…was on the A’s Opening Day roster and went 0-2 with a 12.15 ERA in three starts before moving to the bullpen…posted a 16.88 ERA in three relief appearances and was 0-2 with a 12.94 ERA and 1.100 opponents OPS in six games overall when he was optioned to Las Vegas on April 25…went 1-0 with a 1.08 ERA and .531 OPS in two tarts with the Aviators…was recalled May 13 for a spot start against Texas, in which he allowed three runs over a career-high tying 7.0 innings while striking out seven.

SEVEN INNINGS OR FEWER: Has tossed 5.0 innings or fewer in three of his four starts this year and has now pitched seven innings or fewer in all 51 of his career starts…that is the longest streak of consecutive starts of seven innings or fewer in Athletics history (previous: 47, Montas, Sept. 25, 2019-April 18, 2022).

THIS AND THAT: Allowed at least five runs in each of his three starts to join Todd Van Poppel (1994) as the only pitchers on an Opening Day roster in Oakland history to allow five or more runs in each of their first three starts… left with an 8-5 lead in his first start but the bullpen allowed seven runs for the blown save…left with the lead in five of his starts last year only to have the bullpen blow the save…now has 21 career no decisions as a starter and has left with the lead and was the pitcher of record in 10 of those no decisions…the A’s were 13-13 in his starting assignments last year, which included an 8-4 record in his 12 no decisions…are 24-27 (.471) in his 51 career starts.

FIRST START: He had a no decision in the A’s 12-11, 10-inning loss to Cleveland on April 3 in Oakland…allowed five runs in 5.0 innings of work but left with an 8-5 lead…yielded two runs in the first and three more in the fourth on a Naylor home run and a Straw two-run double…Familia allowed two unearned runs in the sixth and Acevedo surrendered three in the eighth for the blown save…the A’s tied the game in the ninth before Cleveland scored twice in the 10th.
SECOND START: He was the losing pitcher in the A’s 11-0 loss at Tampa Bay on April 9…allowed seven runs in 4.2 innings of work and surrendered a career-high tying three home runs…logged a career-high 106 pitches…yielded a solo home run to Franco in the first, a grand slam to Brandon Lowe in the fourth and a two-run home run to Ramirez in the fifth…Rasmussen, Thompson and Adam combined to shut out the A’s on one hit.

THIRD START: He lost his second consecutive start in the A’s 17-6 loss to the Mets on April 14 in Oakland…walked a career-high seven batters, which were the most by an A’s pitcher since Sonny Gray also walked seven on May 3, 2015…allowed six runs, all in the second inning, in 3.2 innings of work… walked four consecutive batters in the second, two with the bases loaded, and then surrendered a grand slam to Lindor.

LAST MAJOR LEAGUE START: Took the loss in a spot start against Texas on May 13, allowing three runs on six hits and one walk while striking out seven over a career-high tying 7.0 innings pitched…the seven strikeouts marked a season high…was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas postgame.

Date Opponent Opponent Score Dec ERA IP H R ER BB SO HR #PIT
April 3 April 3 Cleveland Cleveland 11-12 (10) 11-12 (10) – 9.00 5.0 7 5 5 2 5 1 89
April 9 April 9 at Tampa Bay at Tampa Bay 0-11 L 11.17 4.2 7 7 7 3 6 3 106
April 14 April 14 New York (NL) New York (NL) 6-17 L 12.15 3.2 4 6 6 7 4 1 95
April Totals (6 games, 3 starts) April Totals (6 games, 3 starts) 0-2 12.94 16.0 24 23 23 14 18 5
May 13 Texas 0-5 L 10.17 7.0 6 3 3 1 7 1 104

KAPRIELIAN vs. HOUSTON: Has faced the Astros twice in his career, once in relief…made his sole relief appearance, on Oct. 2, 2021, at Houston (3.1 ip, 3 h, 2 r, 1 er, 1 bb, 5 so, 2.70 ERA)… relieved Blackburn with no outs in the third inning and the A’s trailing 6-2… allowed his only runs in the sixth inning on a two-run triple by Brantley.

LAST START: He had a no decision in the A’s 5-2 loss at Houston Sept. 15, 2022…pitched 6.0 innings and logged a then-career-high tying 105 pitches… allowed a RBI double to Alvarez in the third but the A’s came back with two in the fourth…surrendered a RBI double to Vazquez in the bottom of the fourth and was relieved by Payamps to start the seventh with the scored tied 2-2.


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