Friday, June 2, 2023

MLB Preview: Oakland Athletics (10-39) at Seattle Mariners (23-24)

OAKLAND ATHLETICS NOTES:

ABOUT THE A’S: Have lost five straight, eight of the last nine and 13 of the last 15 games…are 4-16 (.200) in May after going 5-23 (.179) in April…are 10-39 (.204) overall, which is the worst record in the majors (Royals, 14- 35/.286)…it is the worst record in Athletics history after 49 games and is tied for third worst by an AL, NL or FL team since 1901…it is the worst since the 1988 Orioles also started the year 10-39…with a loss tonight, would match the 1932 Red Sox for second worst to the 1904 Senators (9-38 with three games called with the score tied)…the lowest winning percentage by an AL or modern NL team is .235 by the 1916 Philadelphia A’s (36-117)…are 1-14- 0 in series play…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…were swept by Houston in a three-game series to start the road trip and have been swept seven times this year.

OFFENSE: The A’s are batting .202 (74-for-366) with 31 runs scored over the last 11 games (2.8 runs per game)…overall, have the second lowest batting average in the majors (.226), third lowest slugging percentage (.370), fourth lowest OPS (.675) and fifth lowest on-base percentage (.305)…have the second most strikeouts (463), are tied for the third fewest doubles (66), have the fourth fewest runs (178) and the eighth fewest extra base hits (125)… are tied for the most sacrifice hits (11), rank fourth in hit by pitches (27) and tied for fifth in intentional walks (7)…the seven intentional walks match the A’s season total from last year…have been shut out three times in the last 11 games and seven times this year, which is tied with the Mets for second most in the majors (Royals, 8)…A’s pinch hitters are tied for the most walks in the majors (8) and are tied for fourth in hits (10).

PITCHING: The A’s allowed 11 runs last night and have surrendered 10 or more runs in a game 16 times this year…that is second most by an A’s team over the last 23 years (19 in 2017)…have allowed 355 runs for the season, which is an average of 7.2 per game…are on pace to allow 1173 runs and the modern Major League record is 1199 by the 1930 Phillies…have compiled a 6.00 ERA (118 er in 177.0 ip) in May after posting a 7.97 ERA in April…have a 7.02 ERA overall, which is the highest in the majors (Royals, 5.22)…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 (.879), batting average (.284), on-base percentage (.379) and slugging percentage (.500) in the majors this year… lead the majors in most walks (241), hit batters (34) and wild pitches (27) and have the sixth fewest strikeouts (370).

THE LONG BALL: The A’s pitching staff has allowed at least one home run in 24 of the last 25 games, which includes a streak of 23 consecutive games with a home run from April 26-May 20…that was the longest streak in Athletics history (previous: 17, July 26-Aug. 14, 1964) and tied for fourth longest in Major League history…have allowed 83 home runs for the season, which is the most in the majors (White Sox, 70)…have surrendered six grand slams, which are the most in the majors (four 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 0-10 with a 6.20 ERA (54 er in 78.1 ip) in the 15 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 2-26 with a 7.33 ERA for the season…the ERA is the highest in the majors (Reds, 6.14) and no other team has fewer than six wins from its starters…have the 10th fewest innings pitched (240.2).

THE BULLPEN: The A’s bullpen has a streak of 15 consecutive games without a save opportunity…since the blown save was first tracked in 2004, the longest streak of consecutive games without a save opportunity by an A’s team is 16 from May 28-June 14, 2008 and Sept. 24, 2020-April 12, 2021… is 4-for-13 (30.8%) in save opportunities this year…has the lowest save percentage and fewest saves in the majors and the nine blown saves are tied for eighth most…has a 6.62 ERA, which is the highest in the majors (White Sox, 5.23)…has allowed 41-of-97 (42.3%) inherited runners to score, which is the fifth highest percentage…is tied for the second most inherited runners (Reds, 102)…has 190.1 innings pitched, which is fourth most.

ON THE BASES: The A’s are 47-for-58 (81.0%) in stolen base attempts…rank third in the majors in stolen bases and attempts and 10th in stolen base percentage…the 47 steals are the most by an A’s team over the first 49 games since 1992 (55)…A’s opponents are 40-for-56 (71.4%) in stolen base attempts, which is the sixth lowest success rate in the majors…the 16 caught stealings are second most (Rockies, 18) but the A’s have the seventh most stolen bases allowed…A’s pitchers have four pickoffs, which is tied for fifth most in the majors.

HOME AND AWAY: The A’s are 0-4 on this seven-game road trip to Houston (0-3) and Seattle (0-1) and now have an eight-game road losing streak,
which is the longest by an A’s team since Aug. 23-Sept. 12, 2017 when they also lost eight straight…went 2-4 on the last road trip to Kansas City (2-1) and New York-AL (0-3) and are 5-19 (.208) on the road, which is the worst road record in the majors (White Sox, 7-17/.292)…return home following the game Thursday for a six-game homestand against Houston (three games) and Atlanta (three games)…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, 6-18/.250)…have compiled a 5.99 ERA at home compared to 8.23 (181 er in 198.0 ip) on the road…are hitting .212 with 82 runs in 25 home games (3.3 runs per game) compared to .240 (195-for-812) with 96 runs in 24 road games (4.0 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 most wins in the majors 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 second in the majors in extra inning games (7) and losses and 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: The A’s lost 11-2 last night, which was their eighth loss by nine or more runs this year…that matches the most such losses by an A’s team over the last 27 years (also 2008 and 2022)…seven of the A’s 10 wins have been by one run and Oakland is 7-8 (.467) in one-run games…rank ninth in the majors in one-run games (15) and tied for ninth in losses…have a run differential of -177, which is the lowest in the majors (Royals, -74)…the lowest by an AL or NL team since 1901 is -349 by the 1932 Boston Red Sox.

THIS AND THAT: The A’s have employed 43 players, which is the most in the majors (Mets, 41)…28 of the 43 have been pitchers, which is also the most in the majors (Rays and Rockies, 25)…have used 12 rookies and seven players have made their Major League debuts…have used the injured list 15 times, including 11 times for pitchers…currently have eight players on the IL, including seven pitchers…have not committed an error in six of the last seven games, but have 31 for the season, which is tied for fourth most in the majors…have 10 outfield assists, which is tied for third most…are 9-19 (.321) in night games and 1-20 (.048) during the day…have an average time of game of 2:48, which is the longest in the majors (Orioles, 2:46)…however, have not averaged under 2:53 per game since 2010 (2:43)

A’S VS. MARINERS

  • The A’s are 0-4 after losing the season series last year for the second consecutive season… are 12-30 (.286) against the Mariners over the last three seasons.
  • Have lost 13 of the last 17 games in Seattle.
  • Have lost eight of the previous 10 season series and are 74-111 (.400) against the Mariners dating back to the start of the 2013 season, which is the A’s worst mark against any American League team over that span.

Year Home Road Totals
2023 0-3 0-1 0-4
2022 4-5 4-6 8-11
Oakland History: 378-335
at the Coliseum: 202-153
at T-Mobile Park: 99-115

TODAY’S TIDBITS
Ryan Noda leads Major League rookies in on-base percentage (.401) and walks (32) and is tied for fifth in runs scored (25)…Brent Rooker ranks 10th in the majors in OPS (.933) and tied for 14th in home runs (11)…Esteury Ruiz leads ML rookies in hits (55), stolen bases (24), doubles (13) and hit by pitches (10), ranks third in batting (.285) and tied for fourth in RBI (22)… the 24 steals are the most by an Athletic over the club’s first 49 games since Rickey Henderson had 49 in 1982.

TODAY’S STARTING PITCHER: Luis Medina (0-2, 6.88 ERA)
FOR STARTERS: Was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas May 11 for his second stint with the A’s this year and is 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA (12.0 ip, 8 h, 6 r, 6 er, 2 bb, 9 so) in two starts since his return…was called up for the first time on April 25, started and lost the next day at Los Angeles (AL) in his Major League debut, and was optioned back to Las Vegas on April 27…was 0-1 with a 7.42 ERA in five games, four starts, with the Aviators.

FIRST START: He made his Major League debut on April 26 at Los Angeles (AL) and was the losing pitcher in the A’s 11-3 loss…became the 59th pitcher in Oakland history to start in his ML debut, the third this year (Fujinami on April 1, Miller on April 19)…allowed eight runs in 5.0 innings, which match the most runs in Oakland history by a pitcher in his debut…the first pitcher to do it was Fujinami earlier this year on April 1…it matches the most runs by an Athletics pitcher in his debut over the last 103 years (fifth time)…allowed five runs in the second inning, a solo home run to Renfroe in the third and a two-run home run to Drury in the fifth.

SECOND START: He was the losing pitcher in the A’s 4-0 loss to Texas on May 11 in Oakland…retired the first 11 batters he faced before Lowe tripled with two outs in the fourth…then allowed a RBI single to Taveras in the fifth and two more runs in the sixth on a Semien home run and a wild pitch…Eovaldi shut out the A’s on three hits and a walk in 8.2 innings before Smith came on to get the final out.

LAST START: He had a no decision in the A’s 5-3 loss to Arizona last Wednesday in Oakland…allowed just one hit over the first four innings, a solo home run by Walker in the second…also allowed a two-run home run to Carroll in the sixth and was relieved by Moll to start the seventh with the A’s trailing 3-0…the A’s tied the game with a three-run seventh to get him off the hook but the Diamondbacks scored twice in the ninth for the win

SEATTLE MARINERS NOTES:

TONIGHT’S TILT…the Mariners continue a 10-game homestand with the second of 4 games Oakland Athletics (1-0)…Seattle will also host Pittsburgh (May 26-28) and New York-AL (May 29-31) on the current homestand…Seattle is coming off an 11-day, 9-game road trip (4-5) to Detroit (2-1), Boston (1-2) and Atlanta (1-2)…tonight’s game will be televised live on ROOT SPORTS with Aaron Goldsmith and Angie Mentink on the call…the game will also be broadcast live on Seattle Sports (710 AM) and Mariners.com with Rick Rizzs and Dave Sims.

ODDS AND ENDS…the Mariners took yesterday’s series opener against Oakland 11-2…Seattle is 11-12 at T-Mobile Park and 12-12 on the road this season…Seattle is 18-8 when scoring 4+ runs in a game and 5-16 when scoring 3-or-fewer.

  • Go the Distance – Jarred Kelenic is 1 of 3 batters in the Majors to hit multiple 450’+ home runs this season, joining Ronald Acuña Jr.-ATL (4) and Mitch Haniger-SF (2)…his 455-foot blast in the first inning of yesterday’s game was the farthest hit ball at T-Mobile Park this season, 1-foot farther than Julio Rodríguez’s 454-foot blast on May 7 vs. Houston.
  • Young Guns Getting it Done – Julio Rodríguez and Jarred Kelenic became just the 5th pair of Mariners teammates age 23-or-younger to each reach base 4+ times in a game, and first since Dustin Ackley and Kyle Seager on Aug. 24, 2011 at CLE.
  • Kelenic’s Going Streaking – Jarred Kelenic has hit safely in 5-consecutive games (May 17-c), and homered in back-to-back contests (May 21-c)…with a homer in tonight’s game, Kelenic would be the first player in the Majors this season with 3 separate streaks of homering in 3-or-more consecutive games, after homering in 4 consecutive from April 10-14 and 3-straight from April 22-25.
  • Flex on ‘Em – Chris Flexen has tossed 8.0-consecutive scoreless innings in relief (April 30-c), allowing just 6 hits and 1 walk while striking out 7 during the streak.

OFFENSIVE EXPLOSION…the Mariners racked up 11 runs on 13 hits in yesterday’s game, with 8-of-9 hitters in the order hitting safely, 5-of-9 hitters reaching safely multiple times and 3 different players with 3+ RBI…Ty France, Julio Rodríguez and Jarred Kelenic are the first trio of Mariners to each reach base safely 4+ times in a game, while occupying 3 of the top 4 spots in the batting order, since Ichiro Suzuki, Mark McLemore, Edgar Martinez & John Olerud all reached base safely 4+ times on May 12, 2001 at Toronto.

J.K. ROLLING…Jarred Kelenic hit his 10th home run of the season yesterday, going 3-for-4 with 2 runs, 1 walk, 1 home run and 3 RBI…overall this season, he holds a 154 wRC+, ranking 5th among American League outfielders behind Aaron Judge-NYY (179), Yordan Alvarez-HOU (176), Randy Arozarena-TB (169) and Brent Rooker-OAK (160)…in 45 games this season, Kelenic is batting .297 (49×165) with 25 runs, 12 doubles, 1 triple, 10 home runs, 25 RBI, 6 stolen bases and 13 walks, getting on base at a .350 clip, slugging .564 with an .914 OPS…he leads the Mariners in extra-base hits (23), batting average, slugging percentage, OPS and total bases (87)…with 10 HR over his first 45 games, Jarred Kelenic is the fastest Mariners player age 23-or-younger to 10 home runs in a season since Alex Rodriguez in 1999 (10 HR, 31 G).

DEATH CABBY FOR CUTIE…José Caballero went 1-for-4 with a HR and 3 RBI in yesterday’s game… despite playing only 24 games this season, he has already compiled 0.9 fWAR, ranking T3rd-best among American League second basemen behind only Marcus Semien-TEX (2.4) and Taylor Walls-TB (1.4)… overall this season, Cabby is batting .276 (16×58) with 11 runs scored, 3 doubles, 2 home runs, 10 RBI, 8 walks and 2 hit-by-pitch, while reaching base at a .379 clip and slugging .389 with a .768 OPS…he also is 6-for-6 in stolen base attempts.

THE PITCHING STAFF…the Mariners have the best pitching staff in the Major Leagues by fWAR (9.2), ranking ahead of 2nd-place Minnesota (7.9)…Seattle also leads the Majors in Fielding Independent Pitching (3.27), fewest walks (121), walks-per-9 innings (2.58), fewest home runs (33), home runs-per-9 innings (0.70), fewest barrels (75) and barrel per plate appearance (4.3%)…the pitching staff ranks 3rd in WHIP (1.18) and 2nd in strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.45) behind Houston (3.49)…Mariners starting pitchers are tied for 1st in the Majors in fWAR (6.4) with Minnesota…Mariners relief pitchers rank 2nd in the Majors in fWAR (2.8) trailing Baltimore (3.3).

26-AND-UNDER CROWD…Seattle pitchers age 26-or-younger have compiled Major League-leading 5.7 FanGraphs Wins Above Replacement this season, leading by a wide margin over Houston (3.9), Atlanta (3.0), Cleveland (3.0) and Los Angeles-NL (2.9) …the Mariners starting rotation boast 3 of the top 6 pitchers age 26-or-younger in the Majors this season: George Kirby (T1st, 1.9) leads the pack, followed by Logan Gilbert (3rd, 1.7) and Bryce Miller (T6th, 1.2)…Seattle hitters age 26-and-younger, Jarred Kelenic (1.6), Cal Raleigh (1.2), Julio Rodríguez (1.0) and José Caballero (0.9) all rank among the top 20 hitters 26-and-younger in the American League in fWAR, while the Mariners 4.8 total fWAR from that age group trails only Tampa Bay (6.9).

BIG DUMPER…Cal Raleigh has been one of the best catchers in the American League this season, posting a .773 OPS in 39 games…he’s batting .232 (32×138) with 24 runs, 7 doubles, 1 triple, 7 home runs, 23 RBI and 18 walks, getting on base at a .321 clip with a .449 slugging percentage…since the start of last season, Cal’s 34 home runs are tied for the most among Major League catchers (also: Salvador Perez-KC)…on May 15 at Boston, Raleigh became the first catcher in the 112-year history of Fenway Park to homer from both sides of the plate in a game.

THE HOMESTAND…the Mariners continue a 10-game homestand today with the 2nd of 4 consecutive Value Games against the Oakland Athletics (May 22-25), including tonight’s AANHPI Heritage Night… Seattle then welcomes the Pittsburgh Pirates for 3 games (May 26-28), featuring Sing- Along Fireworks Night on Friday, May 26, J.P. Crawford POP! Collectible Night on Saturday, May 27 and Little League Day on Sunday, May 28…the Mariners wrap up the homestand with 3 games against the New York Yankees from May 29-31…tickets for all upcoming games can be found at Mariners.com/Tickets

AS YOU KNOW…Jarred Kelenic hit his 4th home run of the season against a left-handed pitcher in yesterday’s game, and is batting .349 (15×43) against southpaws in 2023, but, DID YOU KNOW?…that Kelenic’s 1.099 OPS against lefties, as a left-handed hitter leads the Majors among lefties with at least 20 plate appearances against left-handed pitching?…he ranks ahead of Yordan Alvarez-HOU (1.057 OPS) and Anthony Rizzo-NYY (1.037 OPS), and DID YOU ALSO KNOW?…that Kelenic ranks 2nd in Mariners history, trailing only Ken Griffey Jr. (1.122 OPS in 1996), in OPS against southpaws as a lefthanded hitter.

MARINERS STARTER – LHP MARCO GONZALES
ABOUT GONZALES…

  • 31-year-old left-hander is making his 9th start of the season, 1st against the Oakland Athletics…he is also making his 162nd career appearance (154th career start) and his 19th career start against Oakland.
  • Acquired by Seattle from St. Louis in exchange for minor league outfielder Tyler O’Neill on July 21, 2017.
  • Native of Fort Collins, CO…attended Gonzaga University for 3 years (2011-13).
  • Originally selected by Colorado in the 29th round of the 2010 MLB Draft out of Rocky Mountain High School (Fort Collins, CO) but did not sign… drafted and signed by the Cardinals with the 19th overall pick in the 2013 MLB Draft out of Gonzaga University…became the highest draft pick in the history of the Gonzaga baseball program.
  • Made his MLB debut with Cardinals on June 25, 2014 at Colorado.

LAST TIME OUT…L#1 in last start on 5/17 at BOS…allowed 8 runs on 8 hits (1 HR) and 2 walk with 1 strikeout over 1.2 innings.

VS. OAKLAND…has a 10-4 career record against the Athletics with a 3.78 ERA (46 ER, 109.2 IP), 24 walks, and 77 strikeouts…his 77 strikeouts are his 3rd most against any opponent and his 10 wins are tied for the most against any opponent (also: LAA).

THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME…is set to make his 70th start (72nd appearance) at T-Mobile Park tonight…has a 28-17 record with a 3.76 ERA (174 ER, 416.1 IP) with 94 walks, 51 home runs allowed, and 329 strikeouts…his 329 strikeouts at T-Mobile Park are the 6th most in franchise history.

WINNING WAYS…his 3 wins this season are tied for the 3rd most wins in the first 8 starts to a season in his career…he also achieved this feat in 2014 (w/ STL) and 2018…his career high in wins in the first 7 starts to a season is 5 which he achieved in 2019.

SEASON-HIGH PUNCHIES…matched his career high in strikeouts with 9 on 4/19 against Milwaukee…it marks the 6th time he has achieved this feat, the last coming on 8/12/21 against the Texas Rangers when he pitched the third complete game of his career.

LET’S GET DEEP…The Mariners are 55-27 in starts when Gonzales goes 6.0 or more innings, compared to 24-43 when he tosses 5.2 innings or less over his career…when Gonzales tosses 7.0+ innings the Mariners are 25-9.

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