Nats, Strasburg ready for whiff-prone A's
According to STATSAccording to STATS
Washington Nationals at Oakland Athletics
- The A's lead this all-time series, 6-3, with all nine contests having been won by the home club. The teams last met in the 2014 season.
- The Nationals have lost four straight road interleague games (all at Baltimore). The A's, meanwhile, snapped their eight-game home losing streak in interleague play when they defeated Miami 4-1 in Oakland on May 24.
- Oakland lost 8-0 to the Indians on Thursday. It was the fourth time that the A's have been shut out this season. That is tied for the fourth most by any AL club.
- Anthony Rendon has hit four home runs in interleague play this season, which is tied for the second most in the majors (Joey Votto, Cin, 5). It is also tied for the number of homers he hit versus AL teams in 2016.
- Stephen Strasburg has allowed just one run in the first inning this season. That 0.90 (1/10.0) first-inning ERA is tied for fifth lowest among NL pitchers (minimum 8 IP thrown in 1st inning).
- Andrew Triggs has a 1.19 (4/30.1) ERA in his five nighttime starts in 2017. That leads the majors (minimum 30 IP). It is also on pace to be the lowest ERA in night games by any A's pitcher since at least the 1935 season (minimum 5 nighttime starts).
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 6/2/2017 thru 6/4/2017
OAKLAND, Calif. -- A high-strikeout pitcher matches up with a high-strikeout team when Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals open a three-game series Friday night against the Oakland Athletics.
Strasburg has never faced the A's, but he does have a successful history in interleague play, having gone 9-3 with a 3.09 ERA in 18 starts. Only Justin Verlander (28-5, .848) and Ivan Nova (10-3, .769) have recorded a higher winning percentage in the history of interleague play with 18 or more career starts.
The California native has gone 2-0 in five interleague starts since the beginning of the 2016 season, with 44 strikeouts in 33 1/3 innings.
Strasburg is coming off a 15-strikeout effort at home against the San Diego Padres on Saturday. It was the most strikeouts in a major league game this season.
The A's averaged 14.8 strikeouts in their four-game series in Cleveland that wrapped up Thursday. Their 19 strikeouts Tuesday equaled the fourth most in a game this season, and they had 17 more Thursday.
Oakland will at least get a change of scenery when it begins a six-game homestand with right-hander Andrew Triggs (5-4, 2.64 ERA) on the mound.
The second-year right-hander held consecutive opponents without an earned run in his first two home starts of the season, but he has since given up 15 in his last four, including five in a 12-3 loss to the Boston Red Sox on May 21 in his most recent Oakland appearance.
The A's won four of six on their last homestand, taking three of four against Boston. However, things went south on their seven-game trip to the Bronx and Cleveland. The A's committed three errors on Thursday in an 8-0, trip-ending loss to the Indians.
With his team striking out at an alarming rate and now having committed 55 errors, 15 more than any other club, A's manager Bob Melvin called a team meeting before the flight home.
"At times, as a group, things get contagious," Melvin said of the strikeouts and errors. "Then you start thinking about what you don't want to happen, instead of what you want to happen, and guys get a little tight."
The A's have allowed a majors-high 40 unearned runs this season, only three fewer than they gave up all of last year.
The Nationals enter the series at the other end of the mental spectrum. They were near-perfect on the mound, at the plate and in the field in a three-game sweep at San Francisco that ended with a 3-1 victory over the Giants on Wednesday night.
Washington did lose star right fielder Bryce Harper along the way as the result of his charging the mound Monday in response to getting hit by a Hunter Strickland pitch. His three-game suspension ends Sunday.
Nationals manager Dusty Baker feared potential complacency as he prepared to head back to his San Francisco hotel after the Wednesday win. The Nationals didn't need to change hotels between the San Francisco and Oakland series, and they got a full day off Thursday to boot.
"We're not out of the woods yet," Baker said in the wake of the sweep. "We're still on the West Coast. Nothing is easy."
Updated June 1, 2017