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 A’s were a big league icon just a few years ago in the film Moneyball.

The A’s dropped a 2-3 decision to the Seattle Mariners on 26 June at T-Mobile Park in Seattle, Washington, USA.

In the top of the first inning, the A’s got off to a quick start with a two-run homer by Seth Brown, but blew the lead with solo shots by Ty Franks in the first and sixth innings. Then, in the eighth, they gave up a bases-loaded double with two outs.

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 (6-12 April), seven straight (14-20 April), and five straight (26-30 April), followed by a five-game losing streak in May (8-12 May), which is now their longest losing streak of the season.

Needless to say, the season hasn’t gone well. Through 26 games, Oakland has a miserable 10-42 record and a 0.192 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 current American League 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 record 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 in 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 consecutive World Series titles (1972-1974), one of only two teams in the majors. A change in ownership in 1995 led to a crisis, but the A’s rebounded in the 2000s with general manager Billy Beane’s “Moneyball” strategy of acquiring “undervalued blue-chip” players. The A’s made the postseason four years in a row from 2000 onwards, and have played autumn baseball in six of the nine seasons since 2012 in the second Moneyball era.

But after a decade with the team, manager Bob Melvin left for the San Diego Padres, and the A’s 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.

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