Thursday, June 13, 2024
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MLB Preview: Toronto Blue Jays (76-62) at Oakland Athletics (42-96)

TORONTO BLUE JAYS NOTES:

THE LATEST: The Blue Jays scored three runs over the first 9.0 innings on Monday before plating another trio in the 10th frame, taking the opener of their three-game set in Oakland by a 6-5 final…Moved to 9-8 in extra-inning contests this year and 25-20 in series openers…Are now 22-19 in one-run games (.537%), the 3rd-best record among AL clubs (BAL – .667%, DET – .543%). Toronto has won four of its last five games, nine of its last 15, and is 22-17 across its last 39…Enters today a half game back of Texas (76-61) for the 3rd AL Wild Card spot.

PINCH-HIT THINGS: Santiago Espinal came off the bench in the 10th inning on Monday, delivering an RBI double to put the Blue Jays in front, 4-3…Over his last six games, has gone 8-for-13 (.615) with a pair of doubles and five RBI (1.385 OPS). Toronto batters have notched 20 pinch-hit RBI’s this season, the most by the club in a single season since 2014 (28)…The 20 PH-RBI’s trail only the Twins (21) for the most in the American League (T-4th in MLB).

CAVAN A GOOD TIME: Cavan Biggio drove in a run with a single in both the 5th and 10th innings yesterday, finishing the game 2-for-5 with two RBI…Was his 12th multi-hit effort of the season…Of his 28 RBI this season, 16 have come in the 7th inning or later…Over his last 61 games, has gone 39-for-151 (.258) with 31 runs scored, six doubles, six home runs, 24 RBI, and 20 walks (.779 OPS).

A VLAD, VLAD MAN: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. reached base in four of his five plate appearances on Monday, singling twice and walking twice, finishing the game 2-for-3…Marked his 37th multi-hit game of the season…Extended his on-base streak to 20 games, the longest active streak in the Majors…Has batted .288 (23-for-80)
over that stretch with three doubles, three homers, 13 RBI, and a 9BB/10K ratio (.811 OPS). The two-time All-Star has reached base safely in 117 of his 134 games played this season, trailing only Marcus Semien (119) and Nathaniel Lowe (118) for the most among American League hitters…Has recorded an AL-leading 223 hard-hit balls (95+ MPH) this season (2nd: Julio Rodríguez – 211).

HITTIN’ HORWITZ: Spencer Horwitz plated the eventual game-winning run yesterday, sending an RBI double to the wall in left-center in the 10th inning, part of a 1-for-4 afternoon… Has hit safely in four of his five MLB starts…Over six Major League contests, has gone 6-for-17 (.353) with a double, a homer, four RBI, and three walks (.476 OBP, 1.064 OPS).

ROAD WORK: The Blue Jays are on a six-game, six-day road trip out west, with a trio of stops each in Colorado and Oakland (3-1 so far)…Own a 41-32 road record this season for a .562 win%, 3rd best in the AL (5th in MLB)…Have gone 21-10 over their last 31 road games for a .677 win%, trailing only the Dodgers (.690%) for the best road record in the Majors since June 20. Blue Jays hitters lead the AL with a .265 road batting average, while sitting 2nd in road OBP (.334), 3rd in road SLG (.433) and 3rd in road OPS (.767)… The pitching staff ranks 5th in the AL in road ERA (3.98), 8th in road opponents’ AVG (.252), and 10th in road WHIP (1.29).

AIN’T NOTHIN’ BUT A HOUND DOG: Chris Bassitt will make his 29th start of the year today… Tossed 8.0 shutout innings last Wednesday against the Nationals, scattering a trio of hits and a walk with three strikeouts…Was his 3rd start of 8.0+ innings this year, tied for 4th most in the AL..Has tossed at least 6.0 scoreless frames on eight occasions this season, the most in the Majors and one behind Roger Clemens (nine in 1997) for the most in a single season in Blue Jays history. The 34-year old has racked up 17 quality starts this year, trailing only Gerrit Cole (20) and Pablo López (18) for the most in the AL (T-7th in MLB)…His 165.1 innings pitched are 5th most among AL hurlers.

HITTING IT: Toronto batters have notched 1,237 hits this season, 3rd most in the AL (4th in MLB)…Are 2nd in the junior circuit in OBP (.332), 3rd in team AVG (.260), 6th in OPS (.753), and 8th in SLG (.420).

PITCHING IN: Toronto pitchers have combined for a 3.73 ERA this season, 2nd best in the Majors (1st: SEA – 3.69)…The 3.73 ERA is currently 5th best in team history and the club’s best since 2008 (3.49)…Are 2nd in MLB with 1,291 strikeouts (MIN – 1,294)…Rank 5th in the AL in opponents’ batting average (.240) and 5th in WHIP (1.24)…The rotation has recorded 60 quality starts, 4th most in the AL (T-7th in MLB).

VS. THE ATHLETICS: All-Time: 212-230
2023: 3-1 Road: 106-116
Road: 1-0 Oakland Coliseum: 104-116

The Blue Jays took two of three from the A’s when the teams met at Rogers Centre in June…Have won seven of their last 11 visits to Oakland, averaging 5.1 runs and 9.5 hits per game…Have gone 17-6 in their last 23 games overall against the Athletics, dating back to 2019.

George Springer notched a pair of hits in two of the three meetings with Oakland at Rogers Centre this year, going 4-for-11 (.364) with a home run and two RBI…Leads all current Blue Jays with 114 career games against his former division rivals, hitting .254 (112-for-441) with 22 doubles, two triples, 20 home runs, and 56 RBI (.784 OPS).

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has recorded multiple hits in each of the four games against the A’s this year, going 8-for-15 (.533) with two doubles, two homers, and seven RBI (1.698 OPS)…Over 20 career games vs. OAK, has hit .346 (27-for-78) with six doubles, three homers, and 12 RBI for a .945 OPS.

Matt Chapman spent the first five seasons of his MLB career with Oakland, hitting .243 over 573 games while racking up 125 doubles, 16 triples, 111 home runs, and 296 RBI with one All-Star nod, a trio of Gold Gloves, and a pair of Platinum Gloves…Over nine games against his former club, has gone 10-for-32 (.313) with three homers and seven RBI (.999 OPS)

STARTING PITCHER – Chris Bassitt, RHP #40

TODAY’S GAME: Making his 29th start of the season and his 15th on the road…Earned his AL-high-tying 13th win of the year his last time out, on 8/30 vs. WAS, tossing 8.0 shutout innings with 3 hits, a walk, a hit batter, and a trio of strikeouts…Was his 3rd start of at least 8.0 innings this season, good for T-4th most in the AL. Has 8 starts of at least 6.0 scoreless innings this year, the most in MLB and tied for 2nd most in team history (Rogers Clemens – 9 in 1997; Dave Stieb – 8 in 1990).

2023 HIGHLIGHTS: Picked up his 12th win of the year on 8/19 at CIN, giving up 3R/2ER over 6.0 innings with 3 hits, a walk, and 6 strikeouts. Earned his 11th win of the year on 8/6 at BOS, tossing 7.0 frames of one-run ball (7H, 3BB, 6K)…Was his 15th quality start of the year. Improved to 10-5 on 7/20 vs. SD, throwing 6.0 shutout innings with 4 hits, a walk, and 5 strikeouts…Marked his 14th quality start of the year. Won his 8th game of the year on 6/29 vs. SF, tossing 6.0 shutout innings with 3 hits, 3 walks, and a career-high 12 strikeouts…Tied a franchise record with 9 strikeouts through the first 4.0 innings. Picked up the win on 6/7 vs. HOU, tossing 8.0 frames of 2-run ball with 4 hits, no walks, and 5 strikeouts on just 81 pitches (58 strikes)…Marked his 10th quality start of the year.
Earned his 6th win of the year on 6/2 at NYM, throwing 7.2 frames of shutout ball with 3 hits, no walks, and 8 strikeouts…Returned home immediately after his start for the birth of his son, Colson, and was placed on the Paternity List from 6/3-6/5. Allowed 6 runs (2 earned) across 6.1 frames of work on 5/22 at TB…Had his career-best scoreless innings streak ended at 28.0…Marked the 2ndlongest single-season streak in franchise history (Roger Clemens: 33.0 IP from 8/15-9/5/98), and the 3rd-longest overall (Dave Stieb: 34.0 IP from 9/13/88-4/5/89). Tossed 7.0 shutout innings on 5/17 vs. NYY, giving up 3 hits, a walk, and a hit batter with 7 strikeouts…Became just the 4th non-opener in Blue Jays history to throw 3 consecutive scoreless starts in a single season, joining Roger Clemens (1998), Al Leiter (1995), and Dave Stieb (1988). Threw a complete game shutout on 5/12 vs. ATL, the 2nd CG SO of his career (also: 5/27/21 vs. LAA), and the 1st nine-inning complete game shutout by a Blue Jay since Mark Buehrle on 6/3/15 at WAS…Scattered 2 hits, 2 walks, and 2 hit batters while striking out a season-high 8 on 103 pitches (70 strikes).

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS: Tossed the 1st complete game and shutout of his career on 5/27/21 vs. LAA (9.0 IP, 2H, BB, 9K). Received two 5th-place votes in AL Cy Young balloting in 2021, finishing 10th in the vote…Earned his 1st All-Star honours. Earned AL Pitcher of the Month for September 2020, his 1st monthly award…Pitched to a 0.34 ERA that month, allowing one run over 26.2 innings in four starts…Was the lowest September ERA in the Majors since Greg Maddux had a 0.29 ERA for Atlanta in 1995. Started and won Game 2 of the AL Wild Card Series vs. CWS on 9/30/20. Selected by the Chicago White Sox in the 16th round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft.

VS. THE ATHLETICS: Facing the Athletics for the 2nd time this season and the 4th time in his career…Met the A’s at Rogers Centre on 6/23, giving up 4 runs over 5.0 innings (5H, 2BB, 4K)…His only visit to the Oakland Coliseum as a visitor came on 9/23/22 as a member of the Mets, tossing 8.0 frames of 2-run ball (6H, BB, 2K)…Spent 6 seasons with the A’s from 2015-21, going 30-24 with a 3.44 ERA over 100 games (88 starts).

OAKLAND ATHLETICS NOTES:

ABOUT THE A’S: Had their three-game winning streak snapped yesterday… it was the A’s second longest winning streak of the season (7, June 6-13)… have won four of the last six games and are 8-6 over the last 14…are 30-46 (.394) over the last 76 games dating back to June 6 after going 12-50 (.194) over the first 62 contests…are 42-96 (.304) overall, which is the lowest winning percentage in the majors…are one-half game behind the Royals (43-96, .309)…the 96 losses are fifth most in Oakland history (fourth is 97 in 1997)… with 42 wins, the worst the A’s can do is tie the 1962 Mets for the most losses in modern Major League history (120)…swept a three-game series from the Angels to start the homestand for their third series sweep of the season (June 9-11 at Milwaukee, Aug. 5-6 vs. San Francisco)…have been swept 17 times, which ties the Oakland record set in 1978…have a run differential of -297, 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.

OFFENSE: The A’s are batting .243 (89-for-366) with 18 doubles, one triple, 18 home runs and 56 runs scored over the last 11 games (5.1 runs per game)… overall, rank last in the majors in batting (.224), slugging (.371), OPS (.672) and runs (509), are tied for the most times shut out (14), rank second in fewest extra base hits (356), third in lowest on-base percentage (.301) and fewest doubles (192), seventh in most strikeouts (1254), tied for eighth in most grounded into double plays (105) and tied for ninth in fewest home runs (145)…are second in sacrifice hits (27) and sixth in hit batters (78)…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 37 pinch hits, which are the most in the majors and second most by an A’s team over the last 32 years (had 57 in 1997)…the last time the A’s led the majors in pinch hits was in 1927 when they had 50… have 170 plate appearances, which is tied for the most in the majors and is second most by an A’s team over the last 26 years (189 in 2014)…also rank tied for fifth in the majors in extra base hits (9), tied for sixth in doubles (5), tied for seventh in walks (14) and home runs (4) and tied for eighth in RBI (18).

PITCHING: The A’s have 4.10 ERA (56 er in 123.0 ip) over the last 14 games but have a 5.63 ERA for the season, which is the highest in the majors, 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 on-base percentage (.356), slugging percentage (.460) and OPS (.816) in the majors and the fourth highest batting average (.269)…have hit 83 batters, which is the most in the majors, an Athletics record and 12 short of the American League record (95, 2003 Devil Rays)…have a ML leading 585 walks, which are the most by an A’s team since 2000 (615)…have the most wild pitches in the majors (63), are tied for third in fewest shutouts (4) and rank fifth in most home runs (186) and fewest strikeouts (1111).

STARTING PITCHING: A’s starting pitchers are 15-60 with a 5.94 ERA…have the fewest wins and highest ERA in the majors 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 currently matches the highest in Athletics history (5.94 in 1997)…have tossed five innings or fewer in six of the last seven games and 7.1 innings or fewer in each game this year…have the second fewest innings pitched in the majors (630.0).

THE BULLPEN: The A’s bullpen is 3-2 with four saves, a blown save and a 2.61 ERA (12 er in 41.1 ip) over the last 11 games…has a 5.30 ERA overall, which is the highest in the majors and the highest in Oakland history (5.22 in 1980)… also has the most losses in the majors this year (36) and the second most innings pitched (580.2)…has set Athletics single-season records for most losses, walks (313) and runs allowed (370) by relievers…is 25-for-50 (50.0%) in save opportunities…has the third fewest saves in the majors, the fifth lowest save percentage and is tied for the eighth most blown saves (25)… has allowed 98-of-255 (38.4%) inherited runners to score, which is the third highest percentage…has the second most inherited runners.

ON THE BASES: The A’s had three stolen bases yesterday and have been successful in each of their last 10 stolen base attempts…are 127-for-151 (84.1%) for the season and rank fifth in the majors in steals, attempts and percentage…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 96-for-138 (69.6%) in stolen base attempts, which is the second lowest success rate in the majors…the 42 caught stealings are the most…A’s pitchers have 13 pickoffs, which is fourth most.

HOME AND AWAY: The A’s had their season-high three-game home winning streak snapped yesterday…are 3-1 on this six-game homestand against Los Angeles-AL (3-0) and Toronto (0–1)…went 2-4 on the last homestand against Baltimore (0-3) and Kansas City (2-1) and are 23-46 (.333) at home, which is the lowest home winning percentage in the majors…the 46 home losses are tied for fifth most in Oakland history…lost an Oakland-record 51 home games last year and have back-to-back losing seasons at home for the first time since 2015-16…leave following the game tomorrow for a six-game road trip to Texas (three games) and Houston (three games) that begins on Friday…went 3-4 on the last road trip to Chicago-AL (2-2) and Seattle (1-2) and are 19-50 (.261) on the road, which is second the worst road record in the
majors (Royals, 18-51/.261).

ONE-RUN GAMES AND OTHER CLOSE CALLS: The A’s are 19-26 (.422) in one-run games and 23-70 (.247) in games decided by two or more runs…have the most one-run losses in the majors and are tied for third in games (45)… are 6-8 (.429) in extra inning games…are tied for fifth in the majors in extra inning losses and tied for eighth in games (14)…have seven walk-off wins, which is tied for sixth…have 15 last at bat wins.

AGAINST THE EAST: The A’s are 7-23 (.233) against American League East teams, which is the second lowest winning percentage against the East in the majors (Detroit, 6-23/.207)…the lowest winning percentage in Athletics history is .303 (10-23) in 2015…have a 6.98 ERA (200 er in 258.0 ip) against the East.

PLAYER NOTES: The A’s have set Athletics records for most pitchers (37) and most relievers (33) in a season and an Oakland record for most starting pitchers (21)…the starting pitchers match the 2019 Blue Jays for second most in Major League history to the 1915 Philadelphia A’s (24)…have employed 58 players overall, which is second highest in Athletics history to the record of 64 set last year…the 58 players are tied for third most in the majors this year and the 37 pitchers are fourth most…have set an Oakland record for most non-Covid IL placements (30)…used the IL an Athletics record 31 times last year (including nine times for Covid).

THIS AND THAT: The A’s are 31-50 (.383) in night games, 11-46 (.193) in day games…have committed 84 errors, which is fourth most in the majors…have an average time of game of 2:45, which is seventh slowest in the majors… have not averaged under 2:53 per game since 2010 (2:44)…went 9-18 (.333) in the month of August, which was the fourth lowest winning percentage in the majors and the third lowest in August in Oakland history (.250 in 1978, .300 in 1993)…it marked the seventh consecutive full month and 11th time in the last 12 months the A’s have finished with a losing record.

A’S VS. BLUE JAYS

  • The A’s lost the first game in Oakland last night after losing two of three at Toronto in June to open the season series.
  • Split the season series last year with each club winning three games…are 1-4-2 over the previous seven season series dating back to 2015.
  • Have lost 17 of the last 23 games and are 19-30 (.388) dating back to 2015.
  • Have lost 10 of the last 12 games at Rogers Centre and are 7-22 in Toronto dating back to 2014.

Year Home Road Totals
2023 0-1 1-2 1-3
2022 2-1 1-2 3-3
Oakland History: 230-212
at the Coliseum: 116-104
at Rogers Centre: 73-74

TODAY’S TIDBITS
Zack Gelof stole his 10th base of the season yesterday to become the fifth rookie in Athletics history with at least 10 home runs and 10 stolen bases (Yoenis Céspedes in 2012, Jose Canseco in 1986, Mitchell Page in 1977 and Ed Charles in 1962)…Esteury Ruiz stole two bases yesterday for his 11th multi-steal game of the season…now has 56 stolen bases for the season, which are the most in the American League and second most in the majors (Acuña, ATL 63)…is 10 short of the AL rookie record for steals (66, Kenny Lofton, 1992).

TODAY’S STARTING PITCHER: Ken Waldichuk (2-7, 5.92 ERA)
FOR STARTERS: Is scheduled to make his 31st appearance and 20th start of the season…it will be his 18th traditional start as he also has two appearances as an opener…has also pitched three times in relief of an opener…went 1-4 with a 7.46 ERA and 1.012 opponents OPS in 12 games, including 10 starts in April and May…is 1-3 with a 4.69 ERA (33 er in 63.1 ip) and .755 opponents OPS in 18 games, including nine starts, since then…had an ERA above 7.00 in each of the first two monhts (7.26 in April, 7.78 in May) and under 5.00 in the last three (4.60 in June, 4.91 in July, 4.60 in August).

RANKINGS: Ranks fourth among Major League rookies in strikeouts (114), sixth in innings pitched (114.0) and tied for ninth in games started (19)…the strikeouts are 10th most in Oakland history by a rookie (ninth is Joe Blanton with 116 in 2005, eighth is James Kaprielian with 123 in 2021)…has allowed the most runs (80), ranks second in most walks (64) and most home runs (21), third in most hits (126) and tied for sixth in most losses (7)…the 64 walks are tied for eighth most among all pitchers…among pitchers with 100 or more innings, he has the second highest opponents on-base percentage in the majors (.374), third highest OPS (.876) and ERA (5.92) and seventh highest slugging percentage (.502).

DECISIONS: Had his fifth consecutive no decision in his last start, which is one short of the Athletics record for consecutive no decisions by a starter (excluding openers)…five starters have gone six consecutive starts without a no decisions, most recently Jarrod Parker from June 23-July 28, 2013…now has 14 no decisions for the season, which is tied for third most in the majors among starters…it ties Mike Fiers (2019) for second most in Oakland history…the only pitcher in Oakland
history with more no decisions as a starter is Ron Darling, who had 15 in 1993…has left with the lead and was in position to win in five of his no decisions.

OPPONENTS BATTING: Has yielded five home runs in 14.2 innings over his last three starts…surrendered seven home runs in 8.2 innings over his first two starts and nine home runs in 90.2 in 25 games in between…14 of the 21 home runs he has allowed have been solo shots…has allowed 24 hits to left-handed hitters, 15 of which are for extra bases (nine doubles, one triple, five home runs)…opponents are 2-for-17 (.118) with a double, home run and four walks with the bases loaded.

EARLY AND LATE: Has a 3.43 ERA (22 er in 57.2 ip) and .735 opponents OPS over innings 1-3, an 8.47 ERA (53 er in 56.1 ip) and .999 OPS from the fourth inning on…as a starter, he has a .227 (32-for-141) opponents batting average and .783 OPS the first time through the order, .296 (37-for-125) with a .971 OPS the second time and .347 (26-for-75) with a 1.050 OPS the third time.

HOME AND AWAY: Is 0-2 with a 4.44 ERA (25 er in 50.2 ip) and .818 opponents OPS in 13 games at home compared to 2-5 with a 7.11 ERA (50 er in 63.1 ip) and .921 OPS in 17 games in the road…is now 2-3 with a 4.24 ERA and .781 OPS in 16 career games in the Coliseum, 2-6 with a 6.92 ERA and .913 OPS in 21 games on the road.

STARTING, RELIEVING AND OPENING: Has pitched in 30 games…that includes 17 traditional starts, two starts as an opener (May 28, June 20), three appearances in relief of an opener (May 24, July 5, July 25) and eight traditional relief appearances…began the season in the starting rotation and made nine starts through May 19…has tossed five innings or fewer in 11 of his 17 traditional starts and never more than 6.1 innings…logged 1.0 inning and 1.2 innings in his two starts as an opener (May 28 vs. Houston, June 20 at Cleveland)…has tossed at least 2.0 innings in eight of his 11 relief appearances…has left five of his starts in position to win only to have the bullpen blow the save.

LAST START: He had his fifth straight no decision in the A’s 3-1 win at Seattle a week ago today…blanked the Mariners on one walk over the first three innings and had a 3-0 lead entering the fourth…allowed a single and two walks before walking Marlowe with the bases loaded…then walked Crawford to start the fifth, his fifth walk of the game, and was relieved by Erceg with the A’s leading 3-1.

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