Tuesday, September 26, 2023

MLB Preview: San Diego Padres (69-78) at Oakland Athletics (46-100)


Padres topple Dodgers in Los Angeles behind Blake Snell, take 3-game series

  • Blake Snell, MLB’s ERA leader (2.43), continued to boost his Cy Young case with 6.0 scoreless innings against the Dodgers with just 1 hit allowed, 8 strikeouts, and 1 walk…it was his 3rd game this year with 6.0 IP and just 1 hit allowed. Juan Soto hit 2-out, 1st inning home run, and catcher Luis Campusano added a 3-run shot in the 4th inning…Fernando Tatis Jr. went 2-for-4 with 2 RBI and a double.

Blake Snell continuing his run

  • Snell’s 6.0 scoreless innings of 1-hit ball the Padres’ last game @ LAD was his 14th start this year with 6.0+ IP and 3-orfewer hits allowed, tying with Jack Flaherty 14 in 2019 for the most such starts in a single season since 1893, per Elias. He also has a 1.31 ERA and a 12.54 SO/9 IP in his last 20 starts since May 31, becoming the 1st pitcher in MLB history to have a 20-start span in a season with a sub -1.50 ERA and a 12.50 SO per 9 IP.

Tatis to play his 400th career game, 1 HR shy of joining Padres 25+ homer club

  • Fernando Tatis Jr.’s game today will be the 400th of his career, and his next hit will set a new career high in a season (his 135 hits entering today tie with his 2021 season)…he’s hit 24 HR, and with his next, he’ll join Juan Soto (30 HR) and Manny Machado (28) to have hit 25+ HR this season…when he does so, it’ll be the 3rd 25+ HR trio in SD history, joining the ’01 Padres (Phil Nevin, Ryan Klesko, and Bubba Trammell) and the ’19 Padres (Hunter Renfroe, Manny Machado, and Franmil Reyes).

BoMel returns to the Bay

  • Manager Bob Melvin, in his 20th season as a Major League manager, recently surpassed the 1,500- win milestone with San Diego’s win on Sept. 3 vs. SF (now sits at 1,504 wins)…the Palo Alto native will go against his former team for the 1st time since taking the helm in San Diego (managed Oakland for 11 seasons from 2011-21 with a 853-764, .528 record). SD is 14-26 all-time vs. the A’s, and they have the same record at home and on the road against them (7-13)…prior to 2020, the Padres had gone 3-12 in their prior 15 games against the A’s, but since then, they’ve gone 4-3, with their .292 AVG against them in that time being their highest vs. an opponent.

Seth & his sinker

  • Starter Seth Lugo has held batters to a .206 opponent AVG when throwing his sinker, the best mark of any starter in MLB when throwing a 2-seamer/sinker (min. 100 batters faced).

Lugo makes 2nd-career outing vs. A’s
33-year-old Seth Lugo takes the mound for his career-high 24th start of the year, having surpassed his 18 starts from 2017 for the most in a single season…it’s just his 2nd-career appearance against the A[s, with his 1st being last season with the Mets (went just 1.0 inning in relief on September 25, 2022 in Oakland, allowing 3 hits and 3 runs, all earned).

Quality starts
Seth Lugo has the 2nd-most quality outings (14) on SD’s staff behind only Blake Snell’s 18… before this season, his career-high in quality outings were his 8 in 2017.

Seth, his sinker, and his curveball
Lugo has held batters to a .206 opponent AVG when throwing his sinker, the best mark of any starter in MLB when throwing a 2-seamer/sinker (min. 100 batters faced). With his curveball, his spin rate of 3,244 RPM (revolutions per minute) is the 2nd highest in all of baseball this year, behind just HOU Ryan Pressly’s 3,283 rpm…however, opponents are hitting .284 against it compared to the .159 clip against it in 2022…he is averaging 60.4 inches of vertical drop on his curve – which is the 4th-highest vertical drop – and an average of 7.4 inches and 14% more drop – of all ML curveballs.

Looking to bounce back from Saturday in Houston
Lugo looks to bounce back from his last outing on Saturday, Sept. 9 @ Houston, going just 4.1 innings and allowing 6 runs (earned) on 7 hits with 3 walks and a strikeout…the outing snapped Lugo’s career-long streak of going at lesat 6.0 innings at 4 starts).

29 of 30 teams
Wed, Aug 23 vs. MIA was his 1st winning decision since Fri, July 21 @ DET…the Tigers were his 29th team to face, and he’s sqaured off against every ML club except his former club, the Mets.

Limiting the free passes
Lugo has walked 2-or-fewer in 18 of 23 starts in ’23, including 7 starts with 0 free passes… the 7 starts with 0 walks allowed over 5.0+ IP are T-5th most among all NL pitchers this season…he ranks in the 87th percentile in BB%, and his 5.7 BB% is 2nd-lowest in his career (5.1 BB% in 2019).


ABOUT THE A’S: The A’s won two of three at Houston to close out the last road trip…are 7-5 in September and 12-10 dating back to Aug. 21…are 34-50 (.405) over the last 84 games dating back to June 6 after going 12-50 (.194) over the first 62 contests…are 46-100 (.315) overall, which is the second lowest winning percentage in the majors ahead of the Royals (46-101, .313)…the 100 losses are third most in Oakland history…lost 102 games last year and the record is 108 in 1979…will fall short of the Athletics record for losses in a season (117 in 1916)…have a run differential of -299, which is the lowest in the majors…the lowest in Oakland history is -287 in 1979 and the lowest in Athletics history is -344 in 1915.

ALL OR NOTHING: The A’s lost their 100th game of the season on Wednesday at Houston…it is the 18th season with 100 or more losses in Athletics history (3 in Oakland, 4 in Kansas City, 11 in Philadelphia), which are the most in Major League history…have clinched the 36th last place finish in Athletics history (24 in the American League, 12 in the AL West), which breaks a tie with the Phillies for the most last place finishes in Major League history…however, the A’s have 10 seasons with 100 or more wins, a total which is surpassed only by the Yankees (21), and nine World Championships, which trails only the Yankees (27) and Cardinals (11)…more recently, over the last 12 seasons (2012-23) the A’s have either made the playoffs (6 times) or finished last (5 times) in 11 of the 12 seasons.

OFFENSE: The A’s are hitting .242 (97-for-401) with 56 runs scored in 12 games in September (4.7 runs per game)…overall, the A’s have the lowest batting average (.225), slugging percentage (.373) and OPS (.673) in the majors and the fewest runs scored (539)…rank second in fewest extra base hits (382) and lowest on-base percentage (.300), tied for second in most times shut out (14), third in fewest doubles (207), seventh in most strikeouts (1337) and ninth in fewest home runs (156)…are second in sacrifice hits (27) and tied for fifth in hit batters (82)…the hit batters are fourth most in Oakland history (98 in 2021, 88 in 2001, 87 in 2019) and the sacrifice hits are the most since 2012 (27…had 34 in 2011).

IN THE PINCH: The A’s have 40 pinch hits, which matches the most by an American League team over the last 26 years (Rays, 2015)…the last AL team with more than 40 pinch hits is the 1997 A’s (57), and that is the only Oakland team in the designated hitter era with more than 40 pinch hits…the A’s have the most pinch hits in the majors and have not led the majors in pinch hits since 1927 when they had 50…have 183 plate appearances, which is the most in the majors and second most by an A’s team over the last 26 years (189 in 2014)…also rank fourth in the majors in walks (16), tied for seventh in extra base hits (9), tied for eighth in doubles (5) and home runs (4) and tied for ninth in RBI (18).

PITCHING: The A’s have a 3.82 ERA (45 er in 106.0 ip) in September, which is eighth lowest in the majors, but have a 5.53 ERA overall, which is second highest…the overall ERA is currently the highest in Oakland history (5.48 in 1997) and third highest in Athletics history (6.07 in 1936, 5.79 in 1939)…also have the second highest opponents OPS (.812), on-base percentage (.355) and slugging percentage (.456) in the majors and the fourth highest batting average (.267)…have hit 87 batters, which is the most in the majors, an Athletics record and eight short of the American League record (95, 2003 Devil Rays)…have a ML leading 623 walks, which are the most by an A’s team since 1997 (642)…have the most wild pitches in the majors (65), rank fourth in fewest shutouts (5), fifth in fewest strikeouts (1163) and sixth in most home runs (194).

STARTING PITCHING: A’s starting pitchers are 4-2 with a 3.57 ERA (21 er in 53.0 ip) in September but have tossed fewer than five innings in seven of the 12 games…are 17-62 with a 5.79 ERA overall…have the fewest wins in the majors, the second highest ERA and the third most losses…the fewest wins from starting pitchers in Major League history is 21 by the Pirates last year… the ERA is currently second highest in Oakland history (5.94 in 1997)…have tossed 7.1 innings or fewer in each game and have the second fewest innings pitched (663.1)…will set an Athletics record for fewest innings pitched by starting pitchers in a full season (previous: 824.1 in 2018).

THE BULLPEN: The A’s bullpen allowed two runs in 15.0 innings in the three-game series at Houston, but has a 5.24 ERA overall…that is second highest in the majors and is currently the highest in Oakland history (5.22 in 1980)… also has the most losses in the majors (38) and the second most innings pitched (616.1)…has set Athletics single-season records for most losses, walks (330) and runs allowed (388) by relievers…has the second most innings (616.1, record is 641.1 in 2018) and hits (598, record is 678 in 1997), third most strikeouts (562, had 627 in 2018 and 603 in 2019) and is tied for the third most home runs (75, had 92 in 1964 and 81 in 2017)…is 27-for-52 (51.9%) in save opportunities…is tied for the third fewest saves in the majors and has the fifth lowest save percentage…has allowed 102-of-262 (38.9%) inherited runners to score, which is the third highest percentage…has the second most inherited runners.

ON THE BASES: The A’s are 133-for-159 (83.6%) in stolen base attempts…rank fourth in the majors in stolen base percentage, fifth in steals and tied for sixth in attempts…the stolen bases are the most by an A’s team since 2010 (156) and the only time in Athletics history the A’s had a stolen base percentage above 81.5 was in 2020 (89.7%)…A’s opponents are 97-for-143 (67.8%) in stolen base attempts, which is the lowest success rate in the majors…the 46 caught stealings are the most…A’s pitchers have 16 pickoffs, which is tied for second most.

HOME AND AWAY: The A’s begin their final homestand of the season tonight, a season-long tying 10-game stand against San Diego (three games), Seattle (three games) and Detroit (four games)…are 24-47 (.338) at home, which is the lowest home winning percentage in the majors…the 47 home losses are tied for third most in Oakland history (51 in 2022, 50 in 1979)…have a 4.95 ERA (359 er in 653.0 ip) at home, which is fourth highest in the majors and third highest in Oakland history (5.57 in 1997, 5.12 in 1996, 4.55 in 2022)… are batting .217 (496-for-2288), which is the lowest in the majors and second lowest in Oakland history (.209 in 2022, .225 in 1979)…also have the fewest runs scored at home in the majors (244) and the fewest in Oakland history is 251 last year…went 3-3 on the last road trip to Texas (1-2) and Houston (2-1) and are 22-53 (.293) on the road, which is tied with the Rockies for the second worst road record in the majors (Royals, 20-55/.267)…the 53 road losses are second most in Oakland history (58 in 1979).

PLAYER NOTES: The A’s have set Athletics records for most pitchers (39) and most relievers (36) in a season…have used 22 starting pitchers, which is tied with the 2023 Royals for second most in Major League history to the 1915 Philadelphia A’s (24)…have employed 60 players overall, which is second highest in Athletics history to the record of 64 set last year, and third highest in the majors this year (Reds 65, Angels 64)…the 39 pitchers are tied with the Dodgers for third most in the majors (Reds and Rays 40)…have employed 20 rookies, which is third most in Oakland history (34 in 2022, 21 in 2008)… Sears and Fujinami lead the A’s with five wins…the fewest wins by a team-leader in Athletics history is six by Mike Fiers in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season…the fewest in a full season is eight by John Wasdin in 1996… Rooker and Langeliers lead the A’s with 122 games played and whoever leads the A’s in games will finish with fewest games played by a team leader in a 162-game season in Athletics history (previous: Newman, 143 in 1979).


  • The A’s and Padres meet for the first time since 2021 when the two clubs split four games… split two games in Oakland and two in San Diego.
  • All-time, the A’s are 26-14 (.650) against the Padres…that is their second best record against any team (14-7, .667 vs. the Pirates).
  • This is the 13th season series between the two teams…the A’s have won eight, lost three and split one.

Year Home Road Totals
2023 0-0 0-0 0-0
2021 1-1 1-1 1-1
Oakland History: 26-14
at the Coliseum: 13-7
at Petco Park: 8-4

Zack Gelof leads Major League rookies in doubles since the All-Star Break (18), ranks second in extra base hits (30), third in hits (56), tied for third in home runs (11) and tied for sixth in stolen bases (10)…Shea Langeliers has 19 home runs, which ranks fourth most in the majors among catchers and tied for fourth most in Oakland history…Esteury Ruiz has 58 stolen bases, which are the most in the American League, second most in the majors (Acuña, ATL 66) and second most in AL history by a rookie (66, Kenny Lofton, 1992).

TODAY’S STARTING PITCHER: Sean Newcomb (1-0, 0.75 ERA)
FOR STARTERS: Was selected from Triple-A Las Vegas on Aug. 23 and is scheduled to make his seventh appearance and second start of the season…allowed one run in five relief appearances (8.0 ip) before tossing 4.0 scoreless innings in his last outing, a start last Saturday against Texas…was acquired from the Giants in exchange for outfielder Trenton Brooks in a minor league trade on Aug. 21.

IN RELIEF: Did not allow a run in four of his five relief appearances for a 1.13 ERA…opponents were 2-for-25 (.080) but he walked four in 8.0 innings for a .207 on-base percentage…had a .327 opponents OPS…allowed his only inherited runner to score and first batters faced were 1-for-3 with two walks.

LAST START: He had a no decision in the A’s 3-2 loss at Texas last Saturday… tossed 4.0 scoreless innings…walked two batters in the first and allowed his only hit on a leadoff single by Duran in the second…then retired eight of the final nine batters he faced…was relieved by Muller to start the fifth with the scored tied 0-0.

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