Wednesday, July 10, 2013
5 stats to know: Athletics at Pirates
By Jeremy Mills, ESPN Stats & Info
AP Photo/Jim CowsertThe Oakland Athletics and Pittsburgh Pirates complete a three-game series at PNC Park at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN/WatchESPN. Here are five stats that will surely be talked about on tonight's telecast.
Yoenis Cespedes, who earned a spot in Monday’s Home Run Derby, looks to end his 15-game homerless drought, the second-longest streak of his career.
1. The Athletics have already won the series (their fifth straight series win) and will look to maintain their undefeated record all time against the Pirates.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Oakland’s 11-0 mark against Pittsburgh is the best record without a loss for any team against another in the modern era (since 1900).
2. Oakland was 13 games behind the Texas Rangers on June 30 last year before winning 57 of its last 83 games to capture the division.
The Athletics have kept the hot streak going into this season. They have 111 wins since June 30, 2012, six more than any other team in baseball.
3. Yoenis Cespedes has a spot in the Home Run Derby on Monday, but he might not be the most deserving player in this contest. Cespedes has gone 15 straight games without a homer, the second-longest streak of his career.
In the other dugout, Pedro Alvarez leads the National League with 13 home runs since the beginning of June.
In fact, his 23 home runs not only lead the team, but are the most by a Pirates player before the All-Star break since Willie Stargell hit 30 in 1973.
4. The Pirates might be starting their annual summer swoon. Pittsburgh is 2-6 so far in July and has fallen 1½ games behind the St. Louis Cardinals after holding a two-game division lead on June 30.
The Pirates are 134-104 through June the last three seasons and 70-105 from July 1 to the end of the season.
5. You should expect another low-scoring game tonight. Oakland won the first two games of the series 2-1. The A’s have eight wins this season when scoring two or fewer runs -- that leads the majors (tied with the Pirates).
The Athletics now have 18 one-run wins this season. Only the Arizona Diamondbacks have more (19).
• Josh Reddick had 20 home runs at the All-Star break last season, but he has hit only 16 in 135 games since then.
• A's closer Grant Balfour is 24-for-24 in save situations this year and has converted 42 straight save opportunities (his last blown save came on April 29, 2012). The 42 straight saves are a franchise record (the old mark was 40 straight by Dennis Eckersley).
• The Pirates have four players on the All-Star roster – Andrew McCutchen, Alvarez, Jason Grilli and Jeff Locke. It’s the first time since 1981 that Pittsburgh has sent this many players to the Midsummer Classic.
• Starling Marte has 27 stolen bases, the most for the Pirates since Tony Womack had 31 in 1998.