Friday, June 21, 2024
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MLB Preview: Seattle Mariners (82-68) at Oakland Athletics (46-104)


TONIGHT’S TILT…the Mariners continue their final road trip of the season with the 2nd of 3 games against the Oakland Athletics (1-0)…following an off day Thursday, the Mariners will also visit the Texas Rangers (3 G, 9/22-24) on the current road trip…the Mariners are coming off a 2-4 homestand against the Los Angeles Angels (2-1) and the Los Angeles Dodgers (0-3)…tonight’s game will be televised live on ROOT SPORTS with Aaron Goldsmith and Mike Blowers on the call…the game will also be broadcast live on Seattle Sports (710 AM) and with Rick Rizzs and Dave Sims on the call.

ODDS AND ENDS…the Mariners won last night’s game against the A’s by a 5-0 score…the Mariners are 19-13 over their last 32 games, 27-16 over their last 43, 29-17 over their last 46, 32-18 over their last 50, 35-20 over their last 55 and 44-26 over their last 70 games…the Mariners are 63-24 when scoring at least 4 runs and 19-44 when scoring 3-or-fewer…the Mariners are 41-33 at T-Mobile Park and 41-35 on the road this season…they are 27-26 in day games and 55-42 at night. Winners – The Mariners have clinched their 3rd-consecutive winning season and 6th in the last 10 years…marks the 3rd time in franchise history Seattle has had 3+ consecutive winning seasons (also: 1995-97 and 2000-03) Leaders – Julio Rodriguez (5.9 fWAR, 3rd among OF), Cal Raleigh (4.3 fWAR, T-2nd among C), J.P. Crawford (4.3 fWAR, 7th among SS) and Matt Brash (2.0 fWAR, 4th among RP) all rank in the top 10 in the Majors at their position in fWAR this season Yard Work – The Mariners have hit 196 home runs this season, 13th-most in the Majors…Seattle has hit 200+ home runs in a season 7 times: 1996-99, 2016-17 and 2019.

PLAYOFF PICTURE…the Mariners enter play today tied for 2nd place in the AL West, 1.5 games back of division-leaders Houston Astros and tied with the Texas Rangers for the 3rd AL Wild Card…Seattle is 1.0 game back of the Toronto Blue Jays for the 2nd AL Wild Card…the Astros have 11 games remaining (2 vs. BAL, 3 vs. KC, 3 at SEA and 3 at ARI), Texas has 12 games remaining (2 vs. BOS, 3 vs. SEA, 3 at LAA and 4 at SEA) and Toronto has 12 games remaining (3 at NYY, 3 at TB, 3 vs. NYY and 3 vs. TB).

THE J-ROD SHOW IS MUST-SEE TV…since July 1, Julio Rodríguez is batting .339 (97×286) with 48 runs, 21 doubles, 1 triple, 17 home runs, 57 RBI and 18 stolen bases, getting on base at a .386 clip and slugging .598 (.984 OPS)…since Aug. 4, he is batting .386 (64×166) with 31 runs, 14 doubles, 1 triple, 13 home runs, 41 RBI and a 1.168 OPS…overall this season, Julio leads the American League in hits (174), while ranking among the league leaders in total bases (2nd, 103), RBI (3rd, 99), extra-base hits (T-4th, 67), runs (5th, 95), stolen bases (3rd, 36), OPS+ (T-5th, 132) and fWAR (3rd, 5.9). Keeping It 100 – Rodríguez is 1 RBI away from a 100-RBI season…Julio would join Alex RodriguezSEA (1998) & Ronald Acuña Jr.-ATL (2019) to become just the 3rd player age 22-or-younger with a 30/30 season and 100 RBI in the same year…Julio would join Ken Griffey Jr. (2x, 1991-92) and A-Rod (2x, 1996, ’98) as the only Mariners with 100+ RBI in age 22-or-younger seasons. Playing the Hits – J-Rod leads the AL in hits this season with 174, ranking ahead of Marcus SemienTEX (173 H) and Bobby Witt Jr.-KC (166 H)…if he finishes with the league lead in hits, he will become just the 3rd player in franchise history to lead the AL in hits, joining Alex Rodriguez (1998) and Ichiro Suzuki (7x, 2001, 2004, 2006-10) and just the 9th player age 22-or-younger to lead the AL in hits… he would join Ty Cobb-DET (3x, 1907-09), Dick Wakefield-DET (1943), Harvey Kuenn-DET (1953), Al Kaline-DET (1955), George Brett-KC (1975), Rickey Henderson-OAK (1981), Cal Ripken Jr.-BAL (1983) and Alex Rodriguez-SEA (1998). Milestone Man – Is the first player in MLB history with 50+ doubles, 50+ home runs and 50+ stolen bases through a player’s first 2 MLB seasons…Rodríguez is 2 home runs away from 60+ in each category…Julio also has 11.7 bWAR over his first 2 MLB seasons, T-10th most over a player’s first 2 seasons in MLB history, and the 5th-most since 2000.

TEO THE TERRIFIC…Teoscar Hernández had his 30-game on-base streak snapped in Sunday’s game (8/15-9/16)…the streak was the longest by a Mariners player this season, surpassing Julio Rodríguez (27 G, July 1-Aug. 2), the longest on-base streak by a Mariners player since Robinson Canó’s 34-game on-base streak from April 30-June 5, 2016, and the 28th streak of at least 30 games in franchise history… Since August 1, Teo is batting .320 (55×172) with 21 runs, 11 doubles, 9 home runs and 30 RBI, getting on base at a .355 clip and slugging .541 (.896 OPS).

STEADY SHORTSTOP…J.P. Crawford went 1-for-2 with 1 run, 1 RBI and 3 walks in last night’s game… he has set career-highs in home runs (15), RBI (55) and walks (83) and is on pace to set career-highs in on-base percentage (.381), slugging (.425) and OPS (.806) this season…J.P. is batting .321 (18×56) with runners in scoring position and 2 outs this season, and .692 (9×13) with the bases loaded…among qualified MLB shortstops this season, Crawford ranks 7th in fWAR (4.3), 2nd in wRC+ (131), 2nd in OBP and 5th in OPS.

CAL RALEIGH IS QUITE A CATCH…Mariners catcher Cal Raleigh has 16 home runs over his last 50 games (7/22-c) batting .258 (47×182) with 30 runs, 8 doubles, 33 RBI and a .896 OPS during that span…he leads Major League catchers with 28 home runs overall this season and leads AL catchers in fWAR (4.3) trailing only William Contreras-MIL (4.7 fWAR) for the MLB lead among catchers…with 2 more homers this season, #29 would become the 29th catcher in MLB history (min. 60% of games at catcher) with a 30+ home run season…Cal is 1 extra-base hit away from breaking a tie with Mike Zunino (50 in 2017) for the franchise record for most extra-base hits in a season by a catcher.

THE 100 RBI CLUB…Julio Rodríguez (99 RBI), Teoscar Hernández (89 RBI) and Eugenio Suárez (89 RBI) all have a chance to reach 100 RBI this season…they could become just the 7th trio of Mariners with 100 RBI in a season and the first since Bret Boone, Mike Cameron and Edgar Martinez in 2001…only 18 different players in franchise history have had 100 RBI in a season, most recently done by Mitch Haniger (100 RBI) and Kyle Seager (101 RBI) in 2021.

AS YOU MAY KNOW…Luis Castillo has had a Cy Young Award caliber season, going 13-7 with a 3.08 ERA (62 ER, 181.1 IP), 199 strikeouts, 47 walks and a 1.042 WHIP, and…YOU MAY ALSO KNOW…that among qualified AL starters, Castillo ranks 3rd in ERA, 4th in wins, 4th in strikeouts, 5th in innings, 1st in opponent average (.211/142×674), 2nd in WHIP and 8th in fWAR (3.3), but…DID YOU KNOW?…that with 1 strikeout in tonight’s game, Castillo would become the 8th pitcher in franchise history with a 200+ strikeout season?…he would join Randy Johnson (6x, 1991-95, 1997-98), Félix Hernández (6x 1009-14), Mark Langston (4x, 1984, 1986-88), Robbie Ray (2021), James Paxton (2018), Erik Hanson (1990) and Floyd Bannister (1982)…AND FINALLY…Castillo has a chance to become the 3rd pitcher in franchise history to strike out 200+ with an ERA under 3.00, joining Hernandez (3x, 2009-10, 2014) and Johnson (2x, 1995 and 1997).

2023 MLB Breakdown:
Overall 13-7 3.08 30/30 181.1 142 70 62 47 199 26
Home 8-3 2.52 16/16 96.1 62 30 27 24 118 13
Road 5-4 3.71 14/14 85.0 80 40 35 23 81 13
vs. OAK 1-0 0.00 1/1 6.0 4 0 0 2 8 0

Career MLB Breakdown:
Overall 61-62 3.50178/1781039.0 864 448 404 351 1136 124
Home 35-29 3.00 91/91 552.1 416 208 184 166 641 63
Road 26-33 4.07 87/87 486.2 448 240 220 185 495 61
vs. OAK 2-2 3.74 4/4 21.2 20 9 9 6 25 1


  • The 30-year-old right-hander is set to make his 31st start of the season, 2nd against the Athletics…he is also making his 179th Major League start and 5th career start against Oakland.
  • Has been named an All-Star in 2019, 2022 and 2023.
  • Originally signed as an international free agent by the San Francisco Giants on 12/23/11.
  • Made MLB debut on 6/23/17 vs. Washington (w/ Cincinnati)
  • Signed a 5-year contract extension with the Seattle Mariners on Sept. 24, 2022 after being acquired in a trade with Cincinnati on July 30, 2022.

LAST TIME OUT…W#13 in last start on 9/13 vs. LAA…tossed 6.0 innings and allowed 2 runs on 3 hits and 3 walks with 8 strikeouts.

FAMILIAR FOES…in 9 games started against an AL West opponent this season Castillo owns a 3.23 ERA (20 ER, 55.2 IP) with 11 walks and 61 strikeouts…he has faced each AL West \team at least once this season and will make his 2nd start against the Athletics this season tonight…the rest of Castillo’s starts this season will also come against division rivals.

OFF TO A GOOD START…his 268 strikeouts through his first 40 Mariners starts are the most in Mariners history through a pitchers first 40 starts…he ranks ahead of Félix Hernández (233).

INNINGS EATER…has made 9 starts this season where he has pitched at least 7.0 innings…his 9 starts of 7.0+ innings pitched are tied for the most in a season in his career…he currently is tied for the 7th most 7.0+ innings pitched games in the majors this season and has the 2nd most on the Mariners…he ranks behind
George Kirby (10).

HEY NOW, YOU’RE AN ALL-STAR…was named to his third All-Star team on July 2 (also: 2019, 2022)…he was joined by teammates George Kirby and Julio Rodríguez.

MAKING THEM EARN IT…has allowed 62 earned runs through 30 starts this season which is the 4th fewest in the Major Leagues (min. 30 GS)…his 3.08 ERA (62 ER, 181.1 IP) ranks 6th in the Major Leagues among qualified pitchers…he currently ranks behind Kodai Senga-NYM (2.95).

KEEPING THE BASES CLEAN…has allowed 200 runners to reach base safely through 30 starts this season which is the 2nd fewest in the Major Leagues (min. 30 GS) behind Logan Gilbert (199)…he also ranks among Major League leaders (min. 100.0 IP) in opponents average (10th, .211/142×674) and WHIP (3rd, 1.042).


ABOUT THE A’S: Have lost each of their last five games to fall 58 games under .500 for the first time since the 1920 Philadelphia A’s finished the year 48- 106…have not been 59 under since Oct. 2, 1920 (47-106)…the loss yesterday was the A’s 104th of the season, which is second most in Oakland history (108 in 1979) and tied for eighth most in Athletics history…this is the third 100-loss season in Oakland history and the 18th in Athletics history…it is he first time the A’s have lost 100 games in back-to-back seasons since the Kansas City A’s did it in 1964 (105) and 1965 (103)…the 206 losses over the last two years are their most in consecutive seasons since 1964-65 (208)… have lost seven of the last nine games and are 46-104 (.307) overall, which is the lowest winning percentage in the majors behind the Royals (49-102, .325)…were swept by the Padres to start the homestand…it was the 18th time the A’s have been swept this year, which is an Oakland record and the most by an A’s team since 1960 Kansas City A’s were swept 19 times…have a run differential of -321, which is the lowest in the majors…the last time the A’s were outscored by 300 or more runs was in 1954 (-333).

OFFENSE: The A’s were shut out for the 15th time last night, which ties the Tigers for the most in the majors…it is the most times the A’s have been blanked in a season since 2012 (16)…are batting .174 (27-for-155) with eight runs scored over the last five games…overall, rank last in the majors in batting (.224), slugging (.371), OPS (.671), runs scored (545) and extra base hits (388)…are second in lowest on-base percentage (.300), third in fewest doubles (209), seventh in most strikeouts (1381), ninth in fewest walks (465) and tied for ninth in fewest home runs (160)…are second in sacrifice hits (27) and sixth 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 190 plate appearances, which is second most in the majors and second most by an A’s team in the designated hitter era (195 in 1997)…also rank fourth in the majors in walks (17) and tied for eighth in extra base hits (9), doubles (5) and home runs (4).

PITCHING: The A’s have a 5.55 ERA, which is second highest in the majors… it 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)…have the second highest opponents OPS (.812) and on-base percentage (.356) in the majors, the third highest slugging percentage (.455) and fourth highest batting average (.268)…lead the majors in hit batters (92) and walks (647) and have allowed the fifth most home runs (199)…the hit batters are an Athletics record and tied for fifth most in American League history (Devil Rays 95 in 2003, Devil Rays 94 in 2003, Devil Rays 93 in 2004, Red Sox 93 in 2001)…the home runs are fourth most in Oakland history (210 in 2017, 205 in 1996, 201 in 2019) and the walks are sixth most and the most since 1993 (680)…also have the most wild pitches in the majors this year (67), rank fourth in fewest shutouts (5) and fifth in fewest strikeouts (1195).

WITH THE BASES LOADED: A’s pitchers have set a franchise record for bases loaded wild pitches (7), tied the record for walks (25, also 1935) and hit batters (6, also in 2008) and are one short of record for grand slams (7, had eight in 1993 and 1999)…lead the majors this year in hits (51), walks and wild pitches with the bases loaded, are tied for the lead in grand slams and rank second in hit batters.

STARTING PITCHING: A’s starting pitchers are 17-65 with a 5.82 ERA…have the fewest wins in the majors, the second highest ERA and are tied for the second 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 one inning or fewer 13 times, three innings or fewer 30 times and fewer than five innings 63 times…have a 17-31 record when pitching enough innings to qualify for the win…have logged 7.1 innings or fewer in each game and have the second fewest innings pitched in the majors (676.0)…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 has a 5.28 ERA, which is the highest in the majors and is currently the highest in Oakland history (5.22 in 1980)…has the most losses in the majors (39) and the second most innings pitched (639.2)… has 342 walks, which is third most by a bullpen in Major League history (Tigers, 347 in 1996; Pirates, 343 in 2000)…in addition to walks, has also set Athletics single-season records for most losses and runs allowed (406) by relievers…has the second most innings (record is 641.1 in 2018) and hits (623, record is 678 in 1997) and the third most strikeouts (580, had 627 in 2018 and 603 in 2019) and home runs (78, 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 104-of-266 (39.1%) inherited runners to score, which is the third highest percentage… has the second most inherited runners.

ON THE BASES: The A’s are 139-for-165 (84.2%) in stolen base attempts…the stolen bases are second most by an A’s team over the last 30 years (156 in 2010) and the only time in Athletics history the A’s had a stolen base percentage above 81.5 was in 2020 (89.7%)…rank fourth in the majors in stolen base percentage, tied for fifth in steals and sixth in attempts…A’s opponents are 104-for-150 (69.3%) 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 lost their 51st home game of the season yesterday, which matches the Oakland record for home losses in a season set last year… the franchise record is 55 in 1956 and 1964…are 0-4 on their final homestand of the season, a season-long tying 10-game stand against San Diego (0- 3), Seattle (0-1) and Detroit (four games)…are 24-51 (.320) at home, which is the lowest home winning percentage in the majors…have a 5.03 ERA (385 er in 689.0 ip) at home, which is third highest in the majors and third highest in Oakland history (5.57 in 1997, 5.12 in 1996, 4.55 in 2022)…are batting .216 (521-for-2415), 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 (250) 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 the third worst road record in the majors…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 (40) and relievers (36) and have employed the second most players (61, had 64 last year)…have used 23 starting pitchers, which is one short of the Major League record of 24 set by the 1915 Philadelphia A’s…have used 21 rookies, which is tied with the 2008 club for second most in Oakland history (had 34 last year)…are tied with the Rays and Reds for the most pitchers in the majors this year and rank third in players (Reds 65, Angels 64)…have used the IL 31 times, which matches the Athletics record set last year…the 31 placements last year included nine times for Covid…have used 103 different players over the last two years.


  • The A’s have lost the season series for the third consecutive year and ninth time in the last 11 seasons as they are 1-10 with two games remaining.
  • Are 13-36 (.265) over the last three years and 75-117 (.391) over the last 11.
  • Have lost 10 of the last 11 games, 13 of the last 15 and 33 of the last 42.
  • Have lost five straight and 15 of the last 19 in Oakland
  • Were swept in a four-game series in Seattle, May 22-25…it was the first time the A’s were swept in a four-game series at Seattle since Aug. 12-15, 1991…have lost six of the last seven, 10 of the last 12 and 18 of the last 23 at T-Mobile Park.

TODAY’S STARTING PITCHER: Paul Blackburn (4-5, 4.14 ERA)
FOR STARTERS: Is 4-5 with a 4.14 ERA and .792 opponents OPS in 19 games, including 18 starts, in his seventh season with the A’s…is 11-11 with a 4.22 ERA in 40
games over his last two seasons after going 6-11 with a 5.74 ERA in 30 games over his first five seasons…has career highs this year in strikeouts (97) and walks
(38)…his 4.14 ERA is his best since 2017 when he logged a 3.22 ERA in 58.2 innings as a rookie…his .440 opponents slugging percentage is also his lowest since that year (.371)…is closing in on career highs in hits (109, had 110 last year) and runs (47, had 53 last year) and can also reach his best in games (19, had 21 last year), starts (18, had 21 last year) and innings pitched (95.2, had 111.1 last year).

HOME AND AWAY: Is 1-0 with a 1.61 ERA (4 er in 22.1 ip) and .585 opponents OPS over his last four starts in Oakland…is now 2-2 with a 3.56 ERA (19 er in 8.0 ip) and .709 opponents OPS in nine starts at home compared to 2-3 with a 4.72 ERA (25 er in 47.2 ip) and .871 OPS in 10 games on the road.

THE LONG BALL: Has allowed three home runs in 6.0 innings over his last two starts after surrendering just seven home runs in 89.2 innings over his first 17 games…has allowed seven home runs in 205 at bats against right-handed hitters (29.3 at bats per home run) and three in 172 at bats against left-handers (57.3 at bats per home run)…seven of the 10 home runs he has surrendered have been solo shots, seven have come after the fourth inning, five have been hit by the clean-up hitter and five have come with two strikes.

AGAINST THE WEST: Is 1-1 with a 4.41 ERA (8 er in 16.1 ip) in four starts against American League West teams…is now 5-11 with a 7.02 ERA (91 er in 116.2 ip)
in 26 career games against the West, 12-11 with a 3.98 ERA (101 er in 228.1) in 44 games against all other teams.

AL AND NL: Is 2-1 with a 2.72 ERA (12 er in 39.2 ip) and .695 opponents OPS in seven interleague starts compared to 2-4 with a 5.14 ERA (32 er in 56.0 ip) and .856 OPS in 12 games against American League competition…is now 4-2 with a 3.07 ERA and .652 OPS in 12 career starts against the National League and 13-20 with a 5.25 ERA and .821 OPS in 58 games against AL teams.

THIS AND THAT: Has allowed one run or fewer in seven of his 18 starts but is 3-0 with four no decisions in those starts, all A’s wins…the A’s are 10-8 in his starting assignments.

Mikey Balhan Sports

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