The Major League Baseball (MLB) Oakland Athletics are off to their worst start of the season. It’s all the more surprising given that the team was just a few years ago recognized as a big league icon in the movie Moneyball.
The A’s lost their 2023 Major League Baseball opener against the Seattle Mariners, 2-3, at T-Mobile Park in Seattle, Washington, on April 26.
Offensively, Oakland got off to a quick start with a two-run homer by Seth Brown in the top of the first inning, but gave up solo shots to Ty Franks in the first and sixth innings. Then, in the eighth inning, they gave up a bases-loaded walk that ultimately cost them the game.
This was Oakland’s eighth straight loss. Surprisingly, this isn’t the first time the A’s have had a long losing streak. In April alone, the A’s lost six straight (April 6-12), seven straight (April 14-20), and five straight (April 26-30), followed by a five-game losing streak in May (May 8-12), and now they’re on their longest losing streak of the season.
Needless to say, the season hasn’t been going well. Through 26 games, Oakland has a miserable 10-42 record and a .192 winning percentage in 2023. After just 52 games, they’re already 22.5 games behind the American League West-leading Texas Rangers (.633 winning percentage). Oakland’s 10 wins are just two shy of the American League’s current wins leader, Shane McClellanahan (Tampa Bay).
A closer look at the metrics reveals the reason for the slump. Oakland is sixth-fewest in team home runs (54) and third-fewest in OPS (.661) out of 15 American League teams this year. If it weren’t for Brent Rooker (29), who has 11 home runs and a .903 OPS this year, the team’s numbers would be even worse.
But the pitching staff is more problematic. Oakland’s team ERA is 6.88, nearly seven runs higher than the American League average. That’s a far cry from the American League average (4.23) and the second highest, the Kansas City Royals (5.15). According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the highest ERA since it became an official record was 6.70 by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1930, and that was early in the season.
The starting staff is even worse, with a whopping 7.25 ERA. This was to be expected, as not a single player from the starting rotation pitched a full game last year, but the results are just too bad. Oakland brought up Shintaro Fujinami (29) and Drew Ruchinski (35) from the Asian League to fill the holes in the starting rotation, but both are now out of the lineup.안전놀이터
Oakland was a dominant team in the 1970s and 1980s, winning three straight World Series (1972-1974), one of only two teams in the majors. After a change in ownership in 1995, the A’s rebounded in the 2000s with Billy Beane’s “Moneyball” strategy of acquiring “undervalued blue-chip” players. The A’s made the postseason four years in a row starting in 2000, and in 2012, the second year of Moneyball, Oakland played fall ball in six of nine seasons.
However, after a decade with the team, manager Bob Melvin left for the San Diego Padres, and the team began selling key players like Matt Chapman (Toronto) and Matt Olson (Atlanta). The team went from 86 wins in 2021 to 102 losses last year, and hasn’t won a game this year.