oak

Series beginning
07/22/2021

Oakland Athletics

It's been a while since we saw the Oakland A's. Back then, at the beginning of June, the A's were eight games over .500 and half a game in front in the AL West standings. Today, they're 13 games over but 3½ back of the hated Houston Astros after a quickie sweep of the Angels in their most recent two-game set. Not a lot is different now other than their drop to second place—the A's remain the A's, which is to say a team that outperforms expectations and defy their individual numbers.

Aside from All-Star first baseman Matt Olson, who is having the best year of his career, no Oakland batter is hitting over .265 (Jed Lowrie) and only two others are at .250+ (Mark Canha and Tony Kemp). Olson, Lowrie, and primary DH Mitch Moreland are the only A's hitting well of late (see below). There are seven A's with double-digit home runs, though, and they're a solid defensive unit, so they play a lot of close games. As a team, the A's are also 4th in the American League in ERA, on the strength of a fine starting rotation and closer Lou Trivino. The rest of the bullpen holds its own, but the starters, who have averaged six innings per game, carry the Oaklanders. Sean Manaea, who will start the first game of this four-game series, has two shutouts; Chris Bassitt made the All-Star team with a league-best ten wins and 118 strikeouts; and southpaw Cole Irvin has the lowest walks-per-nine-innings in the AL (1.6). The other starter in this series is slated to be Frankie Montas, Oakland's worst starter at 8-8, 4.33.

So the Mariners will have their work cut out for them at the plate, particularly against Manaea, who already shut out the M's once this year back on June 2nd at TMP. The lefty is 7-5 against Seattle in his career with a WHIP barely topping 1.000 in 13 starts. The M's have fared better when facing Montas (2-2, 3.31 career ERA vs. Seattle, including a 6-inning, 4-run loss this season) and Bassitt (1-4, 3.98 career, including a 4-ining no-decision this year), though neither should be underestimated. Irvin has only faced the M's once, taking a loss back in late May in a 4-3 Seattle win. Matchups are scheduled to be: Manaea vs. Chris Flexen (0-1, 5 IP, 6 ER vs. A's this year), Montas vs. Yusei Kikuchi (1-0, 6 IP, 1 ER this year; 1-2, 2.54 ERA career), Bassitt vs. Logan Gilbert (0-0, 10 IP, 4 ER), and Irvin vs. Marco Gonzales (0-0, 4 IP, 1 ER this year, 5-3, 3.82 ERA career).

Splits

Last ten 6-4
Away 25-18
vs. LHP 24-13
vs. RHP 31-29
One-run games 15-15
vs. AL West 21-20
vs. Mariners 3-3

Who’s Hot & Not

Matt Olson
.351/.429/.892, 5 HR, 8 RBI

Jed Lowrie
.351/.359/.622, 3 HR, 9 RBI

Mitch Moreland
.304/.385/.696, 2 HR, 4 RBI

Elvis Andrus
.214/.233/.333, 12 Ks

Matt Chapman
.135/.200/.162, 19 Ks

Stephen Piscotty
.077/.111/.231, 12 Ks

Sean Murphy
.143/.139/.343, 10 Ks

Last 3 series vs. Seattle

6/2/21 OAK 6, SEA 0
6/1/21 OAK 12, SEA 6
5/31/21 SEA 6, OAK 5
5/26/21 OAK 6, SEA 3
5/25/21 SEA 4, OAK 3
5/24/21 SEA 4, OAK 2
9/27/20 OAK 6, SEA 2
9/26/20 (2) SEA 12, OAK 3
9/26/20 (1) SEA 5, OAK 1
9/25/20 OAK 3, SEA 1

Manager

melvin

Bob Melvin: Melvin has proven to be well-suited to the East Bay environs. His quieter, more laid-back approach wasn't appreciated in Seattle after we all had gotten used to the energetic antics of Lou Piniella, and despite success with the Diamondbacks, he was canned out of frustration in Phoenix, where it was suggested he was scapegoated by then-GM Josh Byrnes because of poor results by Byrnes' player acquisitions. Oakland, though, appreciates what it's got, which is a solid leader that has brought Oakland to the playoffs six times in ten years.

Familiar Face

aldrete

Mike Aldrete: The only ex-Mariners with Oakland these days are manager Bob Melvin (managed Seattle 2003-2004) and first-base coach Aldrete, who was on Melvin's staff in Seattle as first-base coach in 2004. That was his first year as a Major League coach after a decade-long career as a player in the bigs; Aldrete was an outfielder/first baseman for seven teams all told, though the majority of his action came in the Bay Area as a San Francisco Giant or Oakland Athletic.

Franchise History

Oakland Athletics(1968 - present)
 
World Champions:1910, 1911, 1913, 1929, 1930, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1989
League Champions:1905, 1914, 1931, 1990
Division Titles:1971, 1975, 1981, 1992, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2012, 2013, 2020

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