Happy Tuesday to you all, Athletics Nation!
We knew the A’s might struggle this year, but I don’t think anyone saw this level of inability from the offense coming. The A’s could barely score a run last night and have now scored just six runs over their last four games, with five of those coming in the series opener against the Rays last week.
Expanding on the struggles, if you take out the 11-run outburst against the Guardians last week, the team as a whole has scored 17 runs over 9 games to start the season, good for 1.9 runs per game. Only the Detroit Tigers have scored less than Oakland, and only by one run. The Kansas City Royals have scored one more run than the A’s, and from there it’s a pretty big jump to #4: the Seattle Mariners, who have collected 45 runs.
It’s not just the run-scoring department either. It would be one thing if the team was getting on-base but just not cashing in at the right time. No, the team is also 27th in the entirety of baseball in hits with 64, and 25th in the league in home runs with a measly 8 long balls on the season. The A’s have pretty clearly established themselves as among the worst offenses in the league already, which is saying something so early in the year.
The loss of one of their best hitters in Seth Brown hurts, but there was some hope that Kevin Smith, who replaced Brown on the roster and got his first start of the season last night, would help spark the offense in some way after his torrid start to the season down in Triple-A. Instead Smith, starting at shortstop in his season debut in The Show, struck out in three of his four at-bats and looked exactly like the Kevin Smith from last year: completely overmatched and out of his league. Hopefully it was just the first-game-of-the-year jitters, and he’ll surely be getting more chances here in the next few weeks. But man, yesterday was not a good look for someone who is one of the remaining pieces of the Matt Chapman trade. Who else is ready for Tyler Soderstrom to make his debut?
- Willis: Seth Brown to IL, IF Kevin Smith recalled
- Polito: A’s fall to Orioles 5-1 in series opener
- Tatomer: Reinforcements desperately needed
- Taruskin: Athletics’ 2023 Imminent Big Leaguers
MLB News & Interest:
- Delos Santos: Pirates’ Cruz undergoes ankle surgery, out 4 months
- Browne: Red Sox’ Duvall fractures wrist, out indefinitely
- McDonald: Rangers place catcher Mitch Garver on IL, recall Sandy Leon
- AP: Royals manager Quatraro back after COVID absence
- McDonald: Giants designate Austin Wynns for assignment
- Adams: Multiple teams showing interest in Dallas Keuchel
- AP: Phillies’ Hoskins hopeful for October return
- McCullough: 9 MLB weekend takeaways
- AP: MLB games down 31 minutes thanks to new rules
- Ghiroli: MLB Notes: How the Rays are slugging into history, etc.
- Today in Baseball History
Best of Twitter:
Jesus, Rays. Save some wins for the rest of us:
The Tampa Bay Rays are now 10-0. Brandon Lowe broke a scoreless tie with an eighth-inning home run. Closer Pete Fairbanks, whom bullpen mates had started calling "Rarebanks" because he was pitching so infrequently, shut down Boston for his first save.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) April 11, 2023
Final: Rays 1, Red Sox 0.
Was told from a very reliable source, this is the “dong bong.” https://t.co/pEhK04KJS2— Jessica Kleinschmidt (@KleinschmidtJD) April 10, 2023
Very astute observation, Melissa:
A's season tagline on both sides the ball could be: "Trouble with the Curve" (by curve I'm including all breaking balls, but it's been an issue for both their pitchers and their hitters)— Melissa Lockard (@melissalockard) April 10, 2023