The A’s found another creative way Tuesday night to lose a one-run ballgame, building a five-run lead only to see it vanish in a 6-5 defeat to the Seattle Mariners.
They scored early but couldn’t score late, and starter Jesse Chavez couldn’t hold the generous lead he’d been handed. Now that you’ve got the basic details of this one, let’s go inside the numbers – good and bad -- for an A’s team that’s trying to fight its way out of the American League West cellar:
65 – The number of RBI for right fielder Josh Reddick, which leads the team. His maturing approach at the plate this season has really been encouraging for the A’s. Reddick is hitting .281 with 15 home runs. Let’s forget about that 32-homer total from 2012 and quit wondering if he’s ever going to reach that mark again. A 20-homer season is within Reddick’s reach. And if he’s delivering that power while hitting in the .280 range, combined with his defense, that’s an extremely valuable player. And with 35 games left, Reddick stands a decent shot of eclipsing his career high of 85 RBI.
51 – Combined number of errors from shortstop Marcus Semien and third baseman Brett Lawrie. That represents the most errors by a pair of teammates since Troy Glaus and Adam Kennedy combined for 52 for the 2000 Angels.
33 – The number of homers the A’s have allowed in August, most in the American League. That’s surprising stuff for a staff that’s allowed just 117 for the entire season, fourth-fewest in the AL. Chavez gave up two long balls Tuesday – a solo shot by Nelson Cruz and a two-run shot by Logan Morrison – that jump-started the Mariners’ comeback from a 5-0 deficit.
33 (Part II) – The number of infield singles for Billy Burns, which entering Tuesday’s play was the most in the American League. His speed is a big reason his batting average is hovering right around the .300 mark and why he’s become a Rookie of the Year candidate. Defenses have tried to combat Burns’ effectiveness, playing shallow in the outfield and trying to take away his bloop hits. Credit the switch-hitting center fielder for his ability to continue racking up hits and getting on base despite the best efforts to contain him.
30 – Total number of one-run losses for the A’s. Their 14-30 record in such contests is the worst in the majors, and the 2015 squad is just the third in Oakland history to reach the 30-loss mark in one-run games. The reasons are numerous and well-documented, from a poor bullpen, to failures with runners in scoring position, to untimely errors to mistakes on the base paths.
18 – Total runs scored by the A’s in three separate one-inning rallies in the past three games. This team can go for long periods where it can’t buy a clutch hit, and then all of a sudden it can score runs in bunches. It can be maddening for fans and wildly entertaining at the same time. Oakland broke through for seven-run innings Sunday against Tampa Bay and Monday against Seattle, then added a four-run rally against the Mariners on Tuesday in a losing effort.
7 -- The number of games left between Oakland and Seattle, as the A’s try to leap-frog the Mariners and avoid finishing in last place. They’re currently separated by 3½ games in the AL West standings. Who says this team doesn’t have anything left to play for?
1.42 – The ERA for reliever Fernando Abad over his past 28 outings. As the A’s bullpen has continued to show meltdown ability at times, Abad has really turned things around from a shaky start to his season. He’s definitely been a second-half bright spot.