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Game #121: A’s vs. Mariners

Brett Anderson and the A’s are looking to widen the gap in the WildCard race with a win this afternoon against the Mariners
Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The A’s come into today’s afternoon contest looking for the sweep against the M’s!
Lefty Brett Anderson (2-3, 4.53 ERA) is on the mound for the Green and Gold.

Anderson has dominated the Mariners over his MLB career and is coming off a strong outing last weekend in Anaheim (5 inn, 2 runs, 4 K’s). Good thing too, because Anderson is pitching for his life each time out with Daniel Mengden and Frankie Montas (and Jesus Luzardo?!) waiting in the wings at Triple AAA Nashville. The Mariners will counter today with former Cincinnati first round pick, righthander Mike Leake (8-7, 4.11 ERA).

Today’s Starting Line-ups
(First pitch is at 12:35pm pst, Gametime weather is Sunny, low 70’s, slight wind):

Today's Lineups

Mitch Haniger - RF Nick Martini - LF
Robinson Cano - 2B Matt Chapman - 3B
Jean Segura - SS Jed Lowrie - 2B
Nelson Cruz - DH Khris Davis - DH
Kyle Seager - 3B Matt Olson - 1B
Ryon Healy - 1B Stephen Piscotty - RF
Mike Zunino - C Marcus Semien - SS
Dee Gordon - CF Mark Canha - CF
Guillermo Heredia - LF Jonathan Lucroy - C

8 Notes About Today’s Game in honor of #8, Jed Lowrie:

1. Most Likely, We Won’t See Treinen Today
The first two games of this series have been playoff atmosphere, one run affairs, with closer Blake Treinen bending but not breaking in saving both victories. Treinen has appeared and saved each of the last three victories for the A’s (Sunday vs. Angels, 20 pitches, Monday vs. Seattle, 20 pitches, Tuesday vs. Seattle, 9 pitches). If BoMel is consistent to form, we won’t see Treinen in today’s game, which means the closing duties will go to either Familia or Trivino (with 2% chance it could be Fernando Rodney). Even without Treinen, expect today’s game to be a bullpen game as the A’s have limited Brett Anderson’s third turn through a line-up and the rest of the A’s bullpen is fairly rested and ready to go.

2. M’s Bullpen at Full Strength:
Seattle closer, Edwin Diaz closed Sunday’s victory over the Astros, but hasn’t pitched in the first two games of this series in Oakland, so he will be ready to go if today’s game needs him. It is hard to believe that Blake Treinen with 32 saves and a 0.95 ERA in 2018 wouldn’t be considered the best closer in baseball this season (or even in his division), but the way Diaz has been pitching, you have to tip your hat to the young Puerto Rican hurler. Diaz has struck out 100 of the 222 batters he has faced this season (45%) and leads the majors with 45 saves (the record in a season is Francisco Rodriguez’s 62 saves in 2008). Today’s unavailbility of Treinen and availability of Diaz could be a major storyline late in the game. Although take heart, the A’s have gotten to Diaz before (the entire paragraph above was just to have an excuse to show this highlight):

3. Jed Lowrie, is Killing the Mariners in This Series (and in 2018)
Lowrie is 5 for 9 with a homer, two doubles, two runs scored and six rbi’s in the first two games of the series. Overall, against the Mariners in 2018, Jed is Is 17-for-41 (.415) with four home runs and 13 RBI in 11 games against Seattle. Last night’s two run blast off King Felix was the difference maker in the ballgame:

4. Brett Anderson Has Been Killing the Mariners for Years
Straight from the Athletics PR excellent GameNotes, Anderson “is 8-4 with a 1.96 ERA (101.0 ip, 92 h, 28 r, 22 er, 23 bb,80 so, 7 hr) in 17 career appearances, including 16 starts, against Seattle…the eight wins are his most against any team…the ERA is second lowest ever against the Mariners by a pitcher with at least 100 innings (Pedro Martinez,1.57).”

5. Mariners Starting Pitcher, Mike Leake was Originally Drafted by the A’s
Leake was taken as a high schooler in the 7th round of the 2006 by Billy Beane and A’s
director of scouting, Eric Kubota. Leake and his family turned down the opportunity and instead he played collegiate ball at Arizona State University and later was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 1st Round of the 2009 amateur draft and became only the 22nd player to skip the minor leagues and go straight to the majors in 2010 (he did play in the 2009 Arizona Fall League, but never a minor league regular season game).

6. Speaking of A’s Scouting Director Eric Kubota
The former Aptos High School grad is one of the unsung heroes of this 2018 playoff chase. Kubota (@erkubota) has worked for the A’s for 33 years, first as a intern in the 80’s (his first full season was the A’s World Series year) and then as a regional scout and assistant scounting director and since 2001 (this was after Michael Lewis had packed up his notes from Moneyball, although Kubota was played in the movie by actor/producer, Christopher Dehau Lee) as Oakland’s director of scouting. Kubota is responsible for drafting the heart and soul of this A’s team with Matt Olson (3rd Round, 2009), Matt Chapman (1st Round, 2014), Chad Pinder (3rd Round, 2013) and Lou Trivino (11th Round, 2013) all selected under his watch. Although both Trevor Cahill and Blake Treinen were re-acquired by the A’s, Kubota was the man behind orginally drafting Cahill (2nd Round, 2006) and Treinen (7th Round, 2011) as well. So in a season of incredible team accomplishments, here is a hat tip to one of the team guys behind the team, well done Eric!

7. Watch for 2-1 Counts!
The A’s offense is hitting .371 with 17 HR’s and 44 RBI’s on two ball and one strike counts in 2018, good for 6th best in baseball. On the flip side, the A’s pitching staff is allowing opposing hitters to hit .367 with 16 HR’s on 2-1 counts, good for 10th worst in MLB.

8. Beautiful Day in Oakland for a Sweep (and first place tie?!)
Should be another good game at the Colisuem today. If the A’s win, Seattle will fall 4.5 games behind in the wildcard standings. If the A’s lose today then Seattle climbs back to 2.5 games back, so today’s game is really worth two! Houston plays tonight at 5:10pm (pst) against the Colorado Rockies, an A’s win and a Astros loss, and the teams will be in a tie for first place in the AL West...Let’s Go!!!!! The beautiful thing is that the Astros are beginning to feel the heat from the A’s. This is what Josh Reddick (@realjoshreddick) posted at the conclusion of the A’s victory last night...

You Gotta Love It!
So sit back this afternoon in your green plastic stadium seat or tune in to Ken, Vince or Ray, Glenn and Dallas and let’s go Oakland!!!