A’s Swept by Marlins

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(Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images)

The Oakland A’s (12–49) were swept by the Miami Marlins in this weekends three game set. Thus any momentum they had after winning their second series of the season during the week against the Atlanta Braves is now gone. This sweep marks the ninth time the A’s has been swept. Another stat that the A’s aren’t proud of holding. 12 wins through a teams first 61 games is the worst mark in MLB history. The A’s are currently on pace to go (32-130). The worst record in baseball history in the modern era (since the schedule went to 162 games) was the 1962 New York Mets who were 40-120. The worst record in baseball history comes from the 1899 Cleveland Spiders who went 20-134. The A’s move on to the second series of their road trip as they play the surprise Pittsburgh Pirates (31-27).

Historically Bad Pace

The pitching has been the major heel of the Oakland A’s this season. A team ERA of 6.70 and two total wins by starting pitchers underlines their struggles this season. The bullpen hasn’t been any better this season, incapable of stopping the bleeding they inherit from the starters. The team bullpen ERA is 6.20 to go along with a league worst 143 Walks. As a result, they have a league worst 1.59 WHIP. An inability to stop a rally from the opposing offense is a death sentence for a major league bullpen. Without any ability to stop opposing offenses from getting on base, the A’s stand little chance in any game this season.

The stat that is most egregious this season is the A’s run differential. Run differential tells how much you have outscored or been outscored by your opponents any given season. For example, a run differential of +5 would mean you have outscored your opponents by a total of five runs. Currently, through their first 61 games, their run differential is -212. This puts them on a pace for a -563 run differential on the season. And yes, this would easily be the worst in MLB history. The worst in history? The 1932 Boston Red Sox who had a -349. At their current pace, the A’s could have the worst run differential in the history of baseball by the All Star break.

Offensive Woes

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Aledmys Diaz stands out as one of the worst moves of the off season. He was signed in the pre season to a one year contract to be used at trade bait at the deadline. This season through 61 games, Aledmys is slashing .185/.241/.238. One home run, eight RBI, 23 strikeouts to six walks show his lack of impact. His 39 OPS+ shows he has been 61% worse than a league average hitter this season.

Tony Kemp has been the best player of the A’s for the last few seasons. This season has marked a major regression for the second baseman. Slashing .150/.246/.204 through his first 147 AB. His 32 OPS+ is the lowest on the team this season. He is having his worst BAbip season of his career with a measly .167. Even when he is putting the ball in play, he is not showing any signs of production on the field.

Jace Peterson has been the most productive of the three talked about in this article. Currently slashing .195/.294/.279 with three home runs and 13 RBI. He also leads the three with a 67 OPS+ this season. His defense has stood out as beneficial for the A’s this season at third base as he is in the top 30% in OAA for the position. Regardless of how he is doing this season, Jace soured his relationship with A’s fans with his comments about the move to Las Vegas.

Can the A’s Turn it Around

What would be considered a positive turn around at this point? Unfortunately with everything going on off the field this season, what is happening on the field just doesn’t seem so important. Ownership purposely tanked the roster and season to aide its efforts for relocation. The worst pitching with a bottom five offense in the league leaves little to expect anything positive to come. A bottom eight farm system in baseball also means little is coming up to help form the lower levels of the organization. No pieces on the active roster who have any value for the upcoming trade deadline. This is the most bleak A’s season in the last 20 years and its not even close.

With the return of Paul Blackburn and Zach Jackson soon coming off the IL, the pitching should improve slightly over time. The offense has been so bad, that you have to imagine at some point it gets a bit better as well. Best case scenario for A’s fans: The Nevada legislature denies the A’s new stadium on the Las Vegas strip. Instantly changing this season from the most depressing to one of hope for the future over night.

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Andrew Gray

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