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The record you didn't know the A's could set

Oakland has zero bunt hits in 2018, potentially the first time ever
MLB.com @mike_petriello

The 2018 Oakland A's, just two games out in the American League West, are a team of extremes. They've gone extreme bullpen in the era of relievers, supplementing a weak rotation with a relief group that has baseball's best ERA over the past two months. They've gone extreme launch angle in the era of fly balls, owning baseball's highest launch angle and fourth-highest slugging percentage.

They've gone extreme in something else, too. As best as we can tell, the A's are on track to be the first team* to go through an entire season without a single bunt hit. They have zero. No one else has ever done that. (We think.) It's the most "A's" stat in a season full of them. It's the most "2018" thing a team could do. Of course it's Oakland.

The 2018 Oakland A's, just two games out in the American League West, are a team of extremes. They've gone extreme bullpen in the era of relievers, supplementing a weak rotation with a relief group that has baseball's best ERA over the past two months. They've gone extreme launch angle in the era of fly balls, owning baseball's highest launch angle and fourth-highest slugging percentage.

They've gone extreme in something else, too. As best as we can tell, the A's are on track to be the first team* to go through an entire season without a single bunt hit. They have zero. No one else has ever done that. (We think.) It's the most "A's" stat in a season full of them. It's the most "2018" thing a team could do. Of course it's Oakland.

(* Reliable data on this sort of thing goes back to 1988, so we can't say with absolute certainty that no team prior to that didn't do this. But based on what we know about how baseball has changed over the years ... no team has ever done this. "To be quite honest with you, I looked to bunt every time I got up," said former Dodgers outfielder Brett Butler, who had 42 bunt hits in 1992 -- which is now more than any team has had combined since 2008. Even Butler played 30 years after noted bunters like Maury Wills and Pee Wee Reese. We don't know, but we know.)

(** Wait: the 1995 St. Louis Cardinals? How in the world did a team that included Ozzie Smith and was managed by Joe Torre [until he was fired in June] drop down only one successful bunt hit, by Geronimo Pena? "This is a bad team and someone must pay the price," wrote The Sporting News at the time Torre was let go, adding that "they're awful defensively [and] they have no speed." That probably gets to part of the issue, as does the fact that they played only 143 games in a shortened season, but it's still shocking.

Now, that says a little about the A's and a lot about baseball in 2018. As recently as '11, we saw 608 bunt hits across baseball, or one every 305 plate appearances. (That year, Juan Pierre had 18 bunt hits. This year, 27 of the 30 teams don't even have 18 bunt hits. 2011 was only seven years ago.) This year, through Wednesday, we've seen only 330 bunt hits, or one every 419 plate appearances.

You probably don't need a graph to show that bunt hits are at a low, but here is a graph showing you that bunt hits are at a low. If we put them on a "plate appearances per bunt hit" scale to account for the remainder of 2018 and partial seasons in 1994 and '95, you can see that the past two seasons have required well over 400 plate appearances per bunt hit, while earlier years needed only just over 200 plate appearances.

Now, the A's are doing all of this on purpose, just as they've done for years. Pitch tracking data came online in 2008, and the A's have by far the lowest ground-ball rate in that span. Five of the top 10 lowest grounder rate seasons in that time belong to Oakland, including not only this year's group, but also the 2012-14 sluggers of Brandon Moss, Josh Donaldson and Yoenis Cespedes. This isn't new. The A's hate grounders. They've just never avoided bunts to this extreme before.

Last year, they actually had eight bunt hits, tied for the third fewest. Then again, maybe they were trying to tell us something. Of the six men who had bunt hits, only two (Jed Lowrie and Matt Joyce) remain with the club, while Jaycob Brugman, Adam Rosales, Ryon Healy and Rajai Davis have all been forced to find new homes.

So what's happened this year when the A's have actually tried to bunt? Have they come close at all? The answer is yes, enough so that there's a caveat we actually need to address. Oakland has put down 13 bunt attempts, which is surprisingly not the fewest in baseball; it's second fewest to Toronto's seven. Let's look at them.

The obvious sacrifice attempts (nine)
Of those 13, two were from pitchers obviously attempting to sacrifice. (It didn't go well. Paul Blackburn and Brett Anderson each bunted into double plays.)

Video: OAK@COL: Senzatela fields bunt, starts double play

Seven more were clear sacrifice attempts from position players. (Three from Chad Pinder, two from Marcus Semien, one apiece from Jonathan Lucroy and Franklin Barreto.) For the most part, those worked as planned, though Pinder's attempt to move runners over from first and second in a 0-0 ninth-inning tie against Tampa Bay in May backfired when catcher Jesus Sucre nailed Lowrie at third base.

Video: TB@OAK: Sucre nabs Lowrie as call confirmed in 9th

The failed hit attempts (three)
As best as we can tell, three A's have actually tried to bunt for hits. On June 13, Lowrie tried to bunt for a two-out hit in a game where Oakland was down, 10-3, to Houston. Pinder tried to bunt for a two-out hit vs. the Angels on March 30. But the more interesting one was when Matt Chapman laid one down against Dan Altavilla and the Mariners in Seattle on April 14.

Video: OAK@SEA: Chapman out at first on bunt attempt

The A's were down, 8-4, at the time. Chapman has been one of the 25 or so best power hitters in baseball this year, and the Mariners weren't even shifting against him. This was weird. No wonder he hasn't tried it since.

The controversy (one)
Now, the eagle-eyes readers among you may have noticed a discrepancy. At our Baseball Savant, we show the A's with zero bunt hits. At Baseball-Reference, they show Oakland with zero bunt hits. At FanGraphs, they show the A's with ... one bunt hit.

What's that about? When we investigated, it appears to be about this Joyce bunt attempt from back in April, when he's clearly attempting to sacrifice to push a runner on first over to second. (In addition to that being clear from the game situation, Joyce was facing lefty Luis Avilan, and Joyce has a career .183/.266/.306 line against lefties. Every plate appearance for him against southpaws is something of a sacrifice.) 

Joyce reached, but not because he beat it out. It's because it was scored an error on White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu.

Video: CWS@OAK: Joyce drops down a bunt, reaches on error

We're comfortable saying that doesn't count as a bunt hit. We're comfortable saying that the A's have zero bunt hits this year, and that it's almost certain that no team in baseball history has gone through an entire year that way. Oakland's success this year, revolving around a good deep bullpen and crushing the ball in the air, reflects the state of the sport in 2018. So does not ever getting a bunt hit.

The A's aren't zigging while others are zagging. They're leaning into it, hard. It couldn't be working out better for them.

Mike Petriello is an analyst for MLB.com and the host of the Statcast podcast.

Oakland Athletics

This A's arm is an AL West game-changer

MLB.com @mi_guardado

Given the collection of stars that play in the American League West, it's no surprise that the division is also home to an array of elite tools.

From cannon arms to wipeout pitches, here's a look at the most game-changing tools for each team:

Given the collection of stars that play in the American League West, it's no surprise that the division is also home to an array of elite tools.

From cannon arms to wipeout pitches, here's a look at the most game-changing tools for each team:

Angels: Shohei Ohtani's power
Why it matters: Ohtani is one of the few left-handed hitters in the Angels' lineup, so his power bat has become a dangerous weapon against opposing right-handed pitchers. All 12 of Ohtani's home runs this season have come against righties, and most of them have traveled quite far. The 24-year-old rookie has crushed four homers with a projected distance of 440-plus feet this season, tied for fourth-most among MLB hitters this year. Only Joey Gallo (six), Nelson Cruz (five) and Giancarlo Stanton (five) have more.

Signature moment this season: Ohtani's impressive power gives him the ability to change the outcome of a game with one swing of the bat, as he showed against the Dodgers on July 8. Nursing a sore right knee, Ohtani came off the bench in the seventh inning and crushed a tiebreaking pinch-hit home run off Dodgers reliever JT Chargois to lift the Angels to a 4-3 win at Angel Stadium. Ohtani's first career pinch-hit home run traveled an estimated 443 feet, according to Statcast™.

Video: Must C Clutch: Ohtani belts pinch-hit, go-ahead homer

Astros: Jose Altuve's bat-to-ball skills
Why it matters: No player in baseball has a better ability to put the bat on the ball than Altuve, a three-time AL batting champion and six-time All-Star whose streak of four consecutive seasons of at least 200 hits is in jeopardy because of a right knee injury that's put him out of action for two weeks. Still, Altuve's uncanny ability to hit any pitch in any part of the zone makes him virtually slump-proof and makes it difficult for opposing teams to shift against him. He's hard to strike out, which means he's almost always putting the ball in play and making something happen.

Signature moment this season: After the reigning AL Most Valuable Player Award winner went hitless in 12 straight plate appearances, Altuve collected hits in 10 consecutive at-bats in May, a club record.

Video: Altuve makes Astros history with 10 hits in 10 ABs

Athletics: Matt Chapman's throwing arm
Why it matters: Chapman's elite arm is perhaps the best in baseball, and the A's benefit from this weapon on a nightly basis. The third baseman's eye-popping plays may be routine these days, but they cannot be overstated, for they're saving a heck of a lot of runs. The strength of his arm allows Chapman to play deeper than any other third baseman in the Majors, which helps him get to more balls than any other player at the hot corner. The end result never disappoints.

Signature moment this season: There are too many to count, but among them a "video game-ish" throw, as A's manager Bob Melvin deemed it the night of July 31. Chapman, positioned where a shortstop plays in the shift, ranged to his normal position and backhanded a ground ball off the bat of Toronto's Yangervis Solarte, throwing him out at first -- easily.

Video: TOR@OAK: Chapman makes an incredible stop and throw

Mariners: Edwin Diaz's wipeout slider
Why it matters: The 24-year-old right-hander has an electric arm and one of the top fastballs in the Majors, but it's been the development of his putaway pitch, the nasty slider, that has elevated him into one of the elite closers in the game this season and the runaway leader in saves in the AL. The Mariners have the most one-run wins in MLB thanks in large part to Diaz's 24 one-run saves, the single-season Major League record.

Diaz typically sets hitters up with his upper-90s fastball, then closes them out with a wicked slider that has racked up a 55.3 percent whiff rate, the fourth-highest percentage among the 152 relievers who've generated at least 100 swings from the pitch this year. Opposing batters are hitting just .107 with a .184 slugging percentage against his slider, and his 64 strikeouts are the most in the Majors among relievers with that pitch.

Signature moment this season: Diaz has been the master of the one-run save, and none was bigger than when he nailed down a 1-0 victory over the Red Sox at Fenway Park on June 16 by striking out the side in the ninth, fanning pinch-hitter Brock Holt with fastballs, then getting Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mookie Betts with the slider after setting them up with high heat. He finished the game by setting down Betts on a full-count slider after Boston's standout had fouled off a 99-mph fastball.

Video: BOS@SEA: Diaz strikes out the side to earn 27th save

Rangers: Joey Gallo's power
Why it matters: The Rangers are looking to the future, and their strength is their young offensive talent. Gallo is foremost among them and his power can be awe-inspiring. Gallo is not only among the league leaders in home runs, but he also leads the Majors -- going into this week -- with 16 home runs of 110-plus mph exit velocity and 13 that traveled with a projected distance of 420 feet or greater. The Rangers are hoping Gallo can be a force with that power for the next several seasons.

Signature moment this season: The Rangers lost to the Indians, 9-8, in 11 innings on July 20, but Gallo still put on a spectacular show. He had a two-run home run in the seventh inning to pull Texas within one, and then hit a game-tying home run with two out in the bottom of the ninth off reliever Cody Allen. That one had a projected distance of 472 feet, Gallo's longest of the season.

Video: CLE@TEX: Gallo demolishes a game-tying dinger in 9th

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Texas Rangers, Oakland Athletics, Seattle Mariners, Los Angeles Angels, Houston Astros, Jose Altuve, Matt Chapman, Edwin Diaz, Joey Gallo, Shohei Ohtani

A's extend condolences to Lockard family

MLB.com

The A's on Thursday extended their sympathy to writer Melissa Lockard of The Athletic following the passing of her husband, Chris, who lost his two-month battle with cancer Wednesday. On behalf of A's vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane, the club offered their condolences to Lockhard and her family through Twitter:

Our deepest condolences from the entire A's organization go out to Melissa Lockard and her children today following the passing of her husband, Chris. She has, for years, touched the lives of players and staff throughout the system with her outstanding coverage of the A's from top to bottom. All of us in Oakland and across the Minor Leagues are grieving this loss with her family.

The A's on Thursday extended their sympathy to writer Melissa Lockard of The Athletic following the passing of her husband, Chris, who lost his two-month battle with cancer Wednesday. On behalf of A's vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane, the club offered their condolences to Lockhard and her family through Twitter:

Our deepest condolences from the entire A's organization go out to Melissa Lockard and her children today following the passing of her husband, Chris. She has, for years, touched the lives of players and staff throughout the system with her outstanding coverage of the A's from top to bottom. All of us in Oakland and across the Minor Leagues are grieving this loss with her family.

Tweet from @TheAthleticSF: A love for all seasons, by @melissalockard. (This story is free for all to read.) https://t.co/D3FurO6vLy

Lockard wrote a touching tribute to her husband via The Athletic.

Oakland Athletics

Every 30-30 season, ranked by club

MLB.com

The marvel of the 30-30 club is predicated on the rare combination of speed and power it takes to swipe 30 bases and bash 30 homers in the same season. The feat has been pulled off just 60 times in baseball history, though there are a few players who could join the club in 2018, starting with Cleveland's Jose Ramirez, who has already surpassed 30 homers and has 27 steals through Wednesday's action.

Here is a team-by-team breakdown of the 30-30 club, ranked in order from the team with the most 30-30 seasons to least -- there are actually eight teams that have never had someone pull off the feat. (Note: We list franchises together, even if the club moved.) 

The marvel of the 30-30 club is predicated on the rare combination of speed and power it takes to swipe 30 bases and bash 30 homers in the same season. The feat has been pulled off just 60 times in baseball history, though there are a few players who could join the club in 2018, starting with Cleveland's Jose Ramirez, who has already surpassed 30 homers and has 27 steals through Wednesday's action.

Here is a team-by-team breakdown of the 30-30 club, ranked in order from the team with the most 30-30 seasons to least -- there are actually eight teams that have never had someone pull off the feat. (Note: We list franchises together, even if the club moved.) 

Giants: 7
Barry Bonds, 1997 (40 HR, 37 SB)
Barry Bonds, 1996 (42 HR, 40 SB)
Barry Bonds, 1995 (33 HR, 31 SB)
Bobby Bonds, 1973 (39 HR, 43 SB)
Bobby Bonds, 1969 (32 HR, 45 SB)
Willie Mays, 1957 (35 HR, 38 SB)
Willie Mays, 1956 (36 HR, 40 SB)
Mays posted the first two 30-30 seasons in National League history, and narrowly missed the mark in 1958 (29 HR, 31 SB) and '59 (34-27). In the twilight of his career, he saw teammate Bobby Bonds accomplish the feat twice with the Giants (en route to finishing his career with five). The younger Bonds later matched his father with his third, fourth and fifth 30-30 seasons in the late '90s -- no other hitter has notched three straight such campaigns. Remarkably, both of the Bonds came within four homers or steals of another 30-30 campaign three times each.

Mets: 5
David Wright, 2007 (30 HR, 34 SB)
Howard Johnson, 1991 (38 HR, 30 SB)
Howard Johnson, 1989 (36 HR, 41 SB)
Howard Johnson, 1987 (36 HR, 32 SB)
Darryl Strawberry, 1987 (39 HR, 36 SB)
It's surprising to see Strawberry's name on this list only once -- though it should come as no surprise that he also came close in 1984 (26 HR, 27 SB), '85 (29-26), '86 (27-28) and '88 (39-29). Johnson, his teammate for nine seasons, wasn't even an All-Star in '87, when the Mets became one of only two teams ever with two 30-30 players in a season. Only Mike Cameron came close until Wright's career-best '07 campaign.

Video: NYM@CHC: Strawberry swipes bag, joins 30/30 club

Braves: 4
Ron Gant, 1991 (32 HR, 34 SB)
Ron Gant, 1990 (32 HR, 33 SB)
Dale Murphy, 1983 (36 HR, 30 SB)
Hank Aaron, 1963 * (44 HR, 31 SB)
* Milwaukee Braves
Aaron's 30-30 season was just the fourth in history, and he came close again in 1968 (29 HR, 28 SB). Gant came close again when he had 36 homers and 26 steals in 1993. In Chipper Jones' NL MVP Award-winning year of 1999, he slugged 45 homers and swiped 25 bags, which is Atlanta's closest call since then.

Rangers: 4
Ian Kinsler, 2011 (32 HR, 30 SB)
Ian Kinsler, 2009 (31 HR, 31 SB)
Alfonso Soriano, 2005 (36 HR, 30 SB)
Bobby Bonds, 1978 (31 HR, 43 SB)
Bonds posted the last of his then-unheard-of five 30-30 seasons in 1978, starting the year with the White Sox before posting the majority of his homers (29) and steals (37) in 130 games with the Rangers. His five 30-30 campaigns was matched only by his son, Barry, though Soriano also came close with four. The consistent Kinsler's only 30-30 campaigns came in the only two 30-steal seasons of his career.

Video: TEX@LAA: Kinsler joins 30-30 club with steal of third

Astros: 3
Carlos Beltran, 2004 (38 HR, 42 SB)
Jeff Bagwell, 1999 (42 HR, 30 SB)
Jeff Bagwell, 1997 (43 HR, 31 SB)
Beltran actually split his memorable 2004 season between Kansas City and Houston, coming over via trade just ahead of the non-waiver Trade Deadline. Beltran swiped a career-high 42 bases that year, including 28 in just 90 games with the Astros. Bagwell, who was never overly touted for his speed, quietly swiped 61 of his career 202 over the 1997 and '99 seasons. 

Brewers: 3
Ryan Braun, 2012 (41 HR, 30 SB)
Ryan Braun, 2011 (33 HR, 33 SB)
Tommy Harper, 1970 (31 HR, 38 SB)
Coming off a 73-steal campaign with the expansion Seattle Pilots in 1969, Harper knocked a career-high 31 homers in '70 for the first 30-30 season in the American League since Ken Williams of the St. Louis Browns in '22. Braun's two 30-30 seasons were the only 30-steal campaigns of his career, for which he won the NL MVP Award in 2011.

Video: MIL@CIN: Braun homers twice to join 30-30 club

Dodgers: 3
Matt Kemp, 2011 (39 HR, 40 SB)
Raul Mondesi, 1999 (33 HR, 36 SB)
Raul Mondesi, 1997 (30 HR, 32 SB)
Davey Lopes, Pedro Guerrero and Kirk Gibson all came close, but Mondesi finally became the first Dodger in the 30-30 club with the only 30-steal campaigns of his 13-year career in 1997 and '99. Kemp flirted with the feat in 2009 (26 HR, 34 SB) before achieving it in '11 with a league-leading 39 homers and 126 RBIs to go with a career-best 40 steals. He lost the NL MVP Award to Braun, a fellow 30-30 club member in '11.

Video: COL@LAD: Kemp joins 30-30 club with homer in seventh

Nationals: 3
Alfonso Soriano, 2006 (46 HR, 41 SB)
Vladimir Guerrero, 2002 * (39 HR, 40 SB)
Vladimir Guerrero, 2001 * (34 HR, 37 SB)
* Montreal Expos
Guerrero had two 30-steal seasons in his 16-year career, and he made the most of both with a pair of 30-30 campaigns, narrowly missing the fourth 40-40 season in history in 2002. Four years later, following the franchise's move to the nation's capital, Soriano recorded the most homers ever in a 30-30 campaign (his fourth) and registered the fourth and final 40-40 season to date.

Phillies: 3
Jimmy Rollins, 2007 (30 HR, 41 SB)
Bobby Abreu, 2004 (30 HR, 40 SB)
Bobby Abreu, 2001 (31 HR, 36 SB)
Abreu's 2001 and '04 campaigns were the finest of his career, representing the two highest homer and steal totals of his 18 seasons in the Major Leagues. Rollins was always a threat on the basepaths, but his power only began to emerge later in his career, culminating in a career-high 30 homers, 41 steals and league-leading triple (20) and run (139) totals in his 2007 NL MVP Award-winning campaign.

Reds: 3
Brandon Phillips, 2007 (30 HR, 32 SB)
Barry Larkin, 1996 (33 HR, 36 SB)
Eric Davis, 1987 (37 HR, 50 SB)
In 1987, Davis joined the 30-30 club in style, becoming the first player to do so with 50 steals (only Barry Bonds has joined him since) -- and he only played in 129 games. A season earlier, he was only three homers shy of an astonishing 30-80 season. Davis and Rickey Henderson remain the only members of the 20-80 club. Larkin's 33 homers in '96 were by far a career high, as were Phillips' 30 long balls in 2007.

Video: HOU@CIN: Phillips joins 30-30 club with 30th homer

Rockies: 3
Larry Walker, 1997 (49 HR, 33 SB)
Dante Bichette, 1996 (31 HR, 31 SB)
Ellis Burks, 1996 (40 HR, 32 SB)
The 1996 Blake Street Bombers were the second team in history ('87 Mets) with two 30-30 hitters in the same season. Bichette wasn't so much of a surprise -- he'd posted double-digit homers and steals in the three previous years. But Burks raised some eyebrows with his 30-30 campaign, as he'd stolen a combined 36 bases in the previous six seasons. Walker's 49 homers and 33 steals were both career highs as he won the NL MVP Award in '97.

Yankees: 3
Alfonso Soriano, 2003 (38 HR, 35 SB)
Alfonso Soriano, 2002 (39 HR, 41 SB)
Bobby Bonds, 1975 (32 HR, 30 SB)
Though Mickey Mantle (31 HR, 21 SB) came reasonably close in 1959, Bonds became the first Yankee in the 30-30 club in '75. Rickey Henderson had a pair of 20-80 campaigns, including a 28-homer, 87-steal season in '86, but it was Soriano that ultimately joined Bonds with the first two of his four 30-30 seasons. Since then, Curtis Granderson came closest, with 41 homers and 25 steals in 2011.

Video: NYY@BAL: Soriano clubs 30th homer to join 30-30 club

Angels: 2
Mike Trout, 2012 (30 HR, 48 SB)
Bobby Bonds, 1977 (37 HR, 41 SB)
Trout took the Majors by storm during his rookie season in 2012, compiling a 30-30 year that hasn't been matched since. Some argue that had it not been for Miguel Cabrera winning the first Triple Crown in 45 years that Trout would've won the AL MVP Award that season. Bonds spent parts of just two seasons in Anaheim, and he made his second count. 

Video: LAA@TEX: Trout becomes youngest member of 30/30 club

Blue Jays: 2
Jose Cruz, 2001 (34 HR, 32 SB)
Shawn Green, 1998 (35 HR, 35 SB)
The 1998 Jays missed the playoffs despite Green posting the first 30-30 season in team history and Jose Canseco coming a steal shy (46 HR, 29 SB) of joining him. The 35 steals were a career high for Green, who hadn't posted more than 16 homers or steals in a season to that point. Cruz more than doubled his previous career high in steals for his 30-30 campaign.

Cubs: 2
Sammy Sosa, 1995 (36 HR, 34 SB)
Sammy Sosa, 1993 (33 HR, 36 SB)
Sosa began his career with decent power and great speed before morphing into the feared slugger that he became in his prime. During his transition, his power and speed came together for a pair of 30-30 campaigns, including his first All-Star season in 1995. Ryne Sandberg had come close in '90 (40 HR, 25 SB), and Corey Patterson came close most recently (24-32) in 2004.

Video: PIT@CHC: Sosa joins 30/30 club for second time

Indians: 2
Grady Sizemore, 2008 (33 HR, 38 SB)
Joe Carter, 1987 (32 HR, 31 SB)
Carter's only 30-steal season of his 16-year career gained him entry to the 30-30 club in 1987 after he came a homer and a steal shy a year earlier. He threatened again a season later (27 HR, 27 SB). Before injuries derailed a promising career, Sizemore was a perennial 30-30 threat, finally achieving the feat in 2008 with career bests in both homers and steals.

Video: Sizemore's leadoff homer gets him into the 30-30 club

Marlins: 2
Hanley Ramirez, 2008 (33 HR, 35 SB)
Preston Wilson, 2000 (31 HR, 36 SB)
Ramirez burst onto the scene with a pair of 50-steal seasons to start his career, but as his power numbers increased, his stolen-base numbers dwindled, and though he came close in 2007 (29 HR, 51 SB), his only 30-30 season came a year later. Wilson swiped 87 bags in four full seasons with the Marlins, and a career-high total of 36 came in '00.

Video: Hanley Ramirez joins the 30-30 club

Pirates: 2
Barry Bonds, 1992 (34 HR, 39 SB)
Barry Bonds, 1990 (33 HR, 52 SB)
Bonds' 52 steals in 1990 were the most in a 30-30 campaign, putting him in an elite group -- he and the Reds' Eric Davis (in '87) are the only members of the 30-50 club. Needless to say, he won the first of his seven NL MVP Awards that year, and he repeated the feat two years later, winning another MVP Award in his walk year before joining the Giants in free agency. More recently, Jason Bay, Nate McLouth and Andrew McCutchen have come close.

Video: PHI@PIT: Bonds hits 30th homer to join 30-30 club

Athletics: 1
Jose Canseco, 1988 (42 HR, 40 SB)
Forget 30-30 -- how about 40-40? Canseco's memorable 1988 campaign saw him lead the Majors with 42 homers and 124 RBIs en route to the AL MVP Award, and he became not only the first in franchise history to 30-30, but he also became the first in baseball history to 40-40. Only three others have matched the feat since.

Mariners: 1
Alex Rodriguez, 1998 (42 HR, 46 SB)
Many don't associate Rodriguez with speed anymore, but he stole double-digit bases in 13 of his first 14 full seasons in the Major Leagues. A-Rod posted lofty homer and RBI totals as a 22-year-old shortstop in 1998, and he also ran wild that season, swiping a career-high 46 bags (but also being caught 13 times), posting one of only four 40-40 seasons in history.

Orioles: 1
Ken Williams, 1922 * (39 HR, 37 SB)
* St. Louis Browns
The idea of a 30-30 season before the end of the dead ball era in 1920 was far-fetched, but with the emergence of sluggers like Babe Ruth and Rogers Hornsby, it became at least a possibility -- though Ruth wasn't exactly known for his speed. Williams had both the power and speed tools, though, and in '22, with Ruth suspended for 60 games to open the season, Williams led the league in homers and swiped 37 bags for the first 30-30 campaign in baseball history.

Red Sox: 1
Jacoby Ellsbury, 2011 (32 HR, 39 SB)
For as long as the storied Red Sox franchise has been around, it took until Ellsbury's tremendous 2011 campaign, the only season of his career with more than 16 homers, for Boston to finally have a hitter join the 30-30 club. Carl Yastrzemski (40 HR, 23 SB) came close in 1970, as did Nomar Garciaparra (30 HR, 22 SB) in '97, and Mookie Betts is on pace to join Ellsbury in 2018, boasting 27 homers and 24 steals with over a month remaining in the season.

Video: BOS@NYY: Ellsbury homers to become part of 30-30 club

Cardinals: 0
Closest call: Ray Lankford, 1998 (31 HR, 26 SB)
For all of their rich history, the Cardinals perhaps suprisingly haven't had a player compile a 30-30 season. Lankford was perhaps the closest to accomplish the feat, coming just four stolen bases shy in 1998. 

D-backs: 0
Closest call: Paul Goldschmidt, 2016 (24 HR, 32 SB)
A perennial threat on the bases -- in spite of his size, stature and position -- Goldschmidt stole a career-high 32 bases in 2016, but he did so in a year where he had a power drought, at least by his standards, which is why he's included here. Goldschmidt had clubbed 30 homers in three of his six full seasons entering '18. In an era where clubs are becoming more apprehensive on the basepaths, the D-backs remain one of the most aggressive. Perhaps they won't be without a member for long. 

Padres: 0
Closest call: Wil Myers, 2016 (28 HR, 28 SB)
Myers came just two homers and two stolen bases shy of becoming the first player in Friars history to join the coveted club during his All-Star season in 2016. 

Rays: 0
Closest call: Melvin Upton Jr., 2012 (28 HR, 31 SB)
Upton put together one of his best seasons in 2012, coming just two homers shy of becoming the first Rays player to join the 30-30 club. Upton's 31 stolen bases that year were impressive, but three times in his career he exceeded 40. His 28 homers in '12 were a personal high, and he clubbed them in the final year before he hit free agency. That offseason, Upton signed a massive multiyear contract with the Braves. 

Royals: 0
Closest call: Carlos Beltran, 2002 (29 HR, 35 SB)
There can't be a more credible close call here than an actual member of the 30-30 club, and despite coming just one homer shy in 2002, he went on to join the club two seasons later, in a year he was traded from the Royals to the Astros. 

Tigers: 0
Closest call: Kirk Gibson, 1985 (29 HR, 30 SB)
Gibson clubbed a career-high 29 in 1985, coming just one deep fly shy of being the lone Tiger in the franchise's rich history in the 30-30 club. 

Twins: 0
Closest call: Corey Koskie, 2001 (26 HR, 27 SB)
No Twins player has come all that close to joining the 30-30 club other than Koskie, who put together his best offensive year in 2001 but didn't reach either of the baselines.

White Sox: 0
Closest call: Magglio Ordonez, 2001 (31 HR, 25 SB)
The six-time All-Star had one of his best seasons in 2001, leading the team with 25 steals. No White Sox player has come all that more close to joining the club, though, before or since. 

Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_.

Do-Hyoung Park is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter at @dohyoungpark.

A's maintain 2nd WC spot despite loss in 12th

Anderson deals 7 2/3 scoreless innings in pitchers' duel
MLB.com @JaneMLB

OAKLAND -- The A's simply don't lose, or so it seems these days, but a 2-0 defeat to the Mariners in 12 innings on Wednesday afternoon at the Coliseum hardly shook them.

Their steadfast approach has guided them this far, which is why there's no reason to magnify any one win or loss.

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OAKLAND -- The A's simply don't lose, or so it seems these days, but a 2-0 defeat to the Mariners in 12 innings on Wednesday afternoon at the Coliseum hardly shook them.

Their steadfast approach has guided them this far, which is why there's no reason to magnify any one win or loss.

View Full Game Coverage

Oakland's latest affair didn't feature a run until the 12th inning, when reliever Yusmeiro Petit surrendered a two-run homer to Mariners outfielder Dee Gordon following a one-out walk to Mike Zunino. The A's went quietly in the home half, finishing 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position and stranding eight to fall shy of a three-game sweep.

Video: SEA@OAK: Gordon belts a go-ahead 2-run HR in the 12th

Yet the A's still maintain a 2 1/2-game lead on the Mariners for the second American League Wild Card spot after snapping a four-game winning streak. They are also just two games behind the first-place Astros for the division lead -- following Houston's rout of the Rockies later on Wednesday -- as they prepare to welcome them to the Coliseum on Friday.

"We can only control what we can control," A's first baseman Matt Olson said. "We won two games against a good team, and we missed a couple opportunities today, but we come back Friday against the Astros ready to roll.

"We're obviously aware of the situation, but we try to approach each day the same. It's still early to be looking at numbers and things like that, but just come here every day. We enjoy each other in the clubhouse, we go out and play hard. That's what we do every day."

Video: SEA@OAK: Melvin on Anderson's start in 12-inning loss

The big hit eluded a team that's come up with so many in the late innings this year, nullifying a superb effort from starter Brett Anderson. The lefty engaged in a going-out-of-style pitchers' duel with right-hander Mike Leake -- the latter just barely outlasting the A's southpaw with eight scoreless frames.

Anderson put forth his longest outing since Oct. 1, 2015, needing just 83 pitches to work 7 2/3 innings, which prompted a healthy ovation for the lefty after he yielded a two-out single to Guillermo Heredia in the eighth that triggered his departure.

"You see what the other guy is doing on the other side, you go out and try to throw up a zero and match him," Anderson said. "You just want to try to fall in line with the other starters and give us a chance to win. Unfortunately, it didn't work out today, but we've all been kind of feeding off each other lately where you don't want to be the weak link."

Video: SEA@OAK: Familia strands a pair in the 11th inning

The veteran pitcher has quietly produced pristine results this month, holding opponents to a pair of earned runs across 19 2/3 innings. Twice in three August starts, he's completed at least seven innings after coming up short in each of his previous eight outings, to continue an encouraging trend from a rotation that, not too long ago, was more or less a mess. A's starters have a 1.84 ERA in their past 14 games.

Anderson yielded just five hits, including two in the opening frame ahead of Nelson Cruz's inning-ending double play, and he didn't walk a batter, fanning two and inducing 15 ground-ball outs.

Video: SEA@OAK: Martini rips a triple to right-center in 4th

"That's as good as he's pitched," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "You saw a lot of balls on the ground, you saw a lot of weak contact. To expect him to get us that deep in the game was probably a stretch, but he just kept performing well to the point where he deserved to go back out."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Olson missed a home run by a few feet and settled on a one-out double off the right-field wall against Mariners lefty Zach Duke with one out in the 10th. That's when Seattle turned to right-hander Nick Vincent, who struck out Stephen Piscotty and issued an intentional walk to Marcus Semien, bringing Ramon Laureano to the plate. The rookie whiffed, and the A's would strand two more in the 11th when Khris Davis went down swinging.

Video: SEA@OAK: Vincent fans Laureano to end threat in 10th

SOUND SMART
Matt Chapman extended his on-base streak to 29 games with a fourth-inning walk, then lengthened his hitting streak to a career-high 13 games with a double in the sixth.

HE SAID IT
"We knew Seattle was coming, and we know Houston is coming after, but we take each game individually. If you're looking at the schedule, you know this is an important time. Every game we go out and play, they're ready to play. They're confident, and they play hard. We play at the same pace every game, and it wears on the other team. There's never really any letdown from our club." -- Melvin

Video: SEA@OAK: Rodney K's Span to preserve a tie in the 9th

UP NEXT
The A's will enjoy an off-day Thursday before embarking on 20 games in 20 days, beginning with a crucial three-game set against the visiting Astros. Right-hander Edwin Jackson (4-2, 2.48 ERA) will be on the mound for Friday's 7:05 p.m. PT opener at the Coliseum, while Houston counters with righty Charlie Morton (12-3, 2.88 ERA).

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.

Oakland Athletics, Brett Anderson

A's nicknames for Players' Weekend

MLB.com

For the second consecutive year, Major Leaguers will put their personalities and passions on the field when Players' Weekend takes center stage during all games from Friday, Aug. 24, through Sunday, Aug. 26.

Shop for Players' Weekend gear

For the second consecutive year, Major Leaguers will put their personalities and passions on the field when Players' Weekend takes center stage during all games from Friday, Aug. 24, through Sunday, Aug. 26.

Shop for Players' Weekend gear

Here are the nicknames the A's will wear on their backs while sporting colorful, non-traditional uniforms featuring alternate designs inspired by youth-league uniforms:

:: Players' Weekend presented by Valspar Stain ::

Shop for Players' Weekend gear 
2018 Players' Weekend nicknames
Best nickname for every team
All you need to know about Players' Weekend

Brett Anderson: "NOON"
Paul Blackburn: "BLACKIE"
Ryan Buchter: "5 DEUCE"
Trevor Cahill: "T.C."
Mark Canha: "TOM ACE"
Matt Chapman: "CHAPPY"
Jharel Cotton: "SQUEAKY"
Khris Davis: "KD"
Jeurys Familia: "LA FAMA"
Mike Fiers: "KAI"
Daniel Gossett: "GOOSE"
Chris Hatcher: "HATCH"
Edwin Jackson: "SCOOP"
Matt Joyce: "SWEET SWINGIN'"
Ramon Laureano: "LAUREANO"
Jonathan Lucroy: "LUC"
Sean Manaea: "MANAEALATOR"
Nick Martini: "TINI"
Matt Olson: "OLY"
Emilio Pagan: "EMILIOOOOO"
Yusmeiro Petit: "YUS"
Josh Phegley: "PTBNL"
Chad Pinder: "CHI"
Stephen Piscotty: "MOMO"
Marcus Semien: "SAUCE"
Jake Smolinski: "SMO $"
Blake Treinen: "TRAIN"
Andrew Triggs: "TRIGGONOMETRY"
Lou Trivino: "SWEET LOU"

Oakland Athletics

A's embarking on 'significant' 20-game stretch

Melvin hoping to avoid putting pressure on relievers
MLB.com @JaneMLB

OAKLAND -- Seeking sustained success, the A's will soon be tested with a stretch that features a game on 20 consecutive days without an off-day -- 13 of those games will be against postseason hopefuls.

Following Thursday's off-day, the A's will play host to the Astros for a three-game series that could alter the American League West standings. From there, they get a week's worth of games against non-contenders -- three with Texas and four in Minnesota -- only to buckle down for matchups with Houston, Seattle and New York.

View Full Game Coverage

OAKLAND -- Seeking sustained success, the A's will soon be tested with a stretch that features a game on 20 consecutive days without an off-day -- 13 of those games will be against postseason hopefuls.

Following Thursday's off-day, the A's will play host to the Astros for a three-game series that could alter the American League West standings. From there, they get a week's worth of games against non-contenders -- three with Texas and four in Minnesota -- only to buckle down for matchups with Houston, Seattle and New York.

View Full Game Coverage

"It is a challenge, and you look at the way the off-days are structured this year, and you get three off in eight days and then [play] 20 in a row," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "You'd like to see them spread out a little bit, but we knew coming in, looking at the schedule this year, that this would be the one significant stretch that we have.

"We're going to have to be mindful of trying to get our starters to go a little bit farther and trying to back off on some of the bullpen guys."

Video: High Heat: Melvin on tight playoff race in AL West

The A's bullpen is mighty, but Melvin will be tasked with deploying his relievers carefully to ensure a couple of them are readily available on any given day.

In Tuesday's win, that meant no more than two outs from Ryan Buchter and Yusmeiro Petit and one inning from Fernando Rodney ahead of closer Blake Treinen's third appearance in as many days. In turn, Jeurys Familia and Lou Trivino were afforded rest.

"They've acclimated beautifully," Melvin said. "It's easy to say you have a deep bullpen and you can just keep running guys out there, but we're coming up on a stretch of 20 in a row. We're going to have to stagger these guys, and it kind of started last night."

Treinen's durability has been crucial; the right-hander has worked 61 innings, fifth most in the AL, all the while maintaining the Majors' best ERA among relievers: 0.89.

"A lot of teams now stay away from three-in-a-rows, but he's the most durable arm we have down there," Melvin said. "I think we've only done it maybe twice with him this year, but you look at the scoreboard and the velocity is the same, the movement is the same, and I think that has a lot to do with him being a starter early in his career. He wants the ball, he wants to go multiple days in a row and it's not like there's any back-off in stuff."

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.

Oakland Athletics

A's top M's, move 1 game back in AL West race

Fiers sharp again; Semien, Lowrie homer in fourth straight win
MLB.com

OAKLAND -- The A's expected to face Mariners starter James Paxton on Tuesday. Instead, they saw old nemesis Felix Hernandez for 5 2/3 innings. It didn't faze them, though, as the A's took down the Mariners, 3-2, to move within a game of the Astros for first place in the division.

"Obviously the game plan changes," Jed Lowrie said. "We've seen Felix a lot, so it wasn't a guy that we've never faced before."

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OAKLAND -- The A's expected to face Mariners starter James Paxton on Tuesday. Instead, they saw old nemesis Felix Hernandez for 5 2/3 innings. It didn't faze them, though, as the A's took down the Mariners, 3-2, to move within a game of the Astros for first place in the division.

"Obviously the game plan changes," Jed Lowrie said. "We've seen Felix a lot, so it wasn't a guy that we've never faced before."

View Full Game Coverage

Never mind that Hernandez came in with a 2.70 ERA in 49 career starts against the A's. Nothing much can get to this team these days, not even an unexpected matchup against King Felix, who was summoned from the bullpen for his first career relief appearance after Paxton was hit on the left forearm with a line drive in the first inning.

"We won this series and if we win the next, then I think we'll be in first place," said Marcus Semien, whose solo homer in the first tied the score at 1-1.

Video: SEA@OAK: Semien launches a leadoff homer to left

The A's increased their lead on the Mariners -- they are now 3 1/2 games up on Seattle for the second American League Wild Card spot -- and after they go for the sweep on Wednesday, the A's will play the Astros three times at the Coliseum with a chance to overtake them for the division lead.

"We're in a stretch of games now that are important to us," manager Bob Melvin said. "There's a lot of games left. We know where we're at in the division. Until you're out of it in the division, you don't think about the Wild Card."

It was Lowrie who provided the go-ahead runs in the third inning off Hernandez with a two-run blast to right, his 19th of the season and 100th of his career to put the A's ahead 3-1. He has been on a tear of late, entering the night with a .381 batting average (8-for-21) in his last five games. Lowrie now owns a six-game hit streak after hitting .134 in his last 19 games.

Video: SEA@OAK: Piscotty makes a leaping grab at the wall

"That's not lost on me," Lowrie said of his stats. "I know what I've done this year so far, and I just want to continue to perform and help us win."

Those were the only two runs Hernandez surrendered. Mike Fiers earned his first career win with the A's, allowing two runs in six innings. Despite some hard contact -- including a solo home run by Cameron Maybin that cut the A's lead to 3-2 in the fifth -- Fiers issued no walks for the fifth time this season and held down the fort for the bullpen.

Fiers almost didn't start because of pain in his glutes. Melvin said he had two lineup cards ready to go -- the other with Yusmeiro Petit starting. Fiers shrugged it off as muscle cramps and said it wasn't serious.

Video: SEA@OAK: Treinen retires Zunino to record the save

"To think he was going to give us six innings -- for me he was pitching on adrenaline because it was touch and go for a little while," Melvin said.

A night after nearly blowing a 7-1 advantage, the relievers were back to form, shutting down the Mariners over the final three innings, with the defense pitching in to keep the A's perfect record (50-0) when leading after seven innings intact. In the eighth inning, Jonathan Lucroy threw out Dee Gordon attempting to swipe second after a leadoff single. Later in the inning, Matt Chapman leaned over the tarp to make a spectacular grab in foul territory on a popup by Robinson Cano.

Video: SEA@OAK: Fiers K's 5 over 6 innings of 2-run ball

"That's every night," Fiers said of the defense behind him. "I love it. These guys play hard behind you, never take a pitch off … I feel comfortable, and I can go out and throw strikes and trust guys behind me."

Chapman elaborates on fan support message

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
Lucroy's throw to nab Gordon at second proved pivotal, with Gordon, a speedy runner, representing the tying run in the eighth. The call was upheld after replay review.

Video: SEA@OAK: Lucroy throws out Gordon, call stands in 8th

"A lot of things you're going to have to do to try to combat that," Melvin said. "Fernando [Rodney] helped him out too with a quick time [to the plate]. Got to be perfect to throw him out and they both were."

SOUND SMART
In addition to being perfect this season when leading after seven innings, the A's have won each of their last 65 games when leading after seven. It matches the longest streak in franchise history (1927-28).

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Chapman took on the tarp in the eighth inning on the popup by Cano, and he won. Melvin said it came down to a will to catch the baseball.

Video: SEA@OAK: Chapman reaches over tarp for a stellar grab

"He wasn't going to be denied," Melvin said. "If he had to go through the tarp … I think that was his mindset."

HE SAID IT
"They all feel like playoff games. This is the spot I wanna be in. I want to be on a team that's winning and heading for the playoffs, and I feel like this team has a lot of trust in me going out there and pitching for this club. I just want to not let them down. I want to pitch well and give them everything I've got." -- Fiers, on pitching for the A's

UP NEXT
The A's will wrap up their pivotal three-game set against the Mariners on Wednesday at 12:35 p.m. PT. Brett Anderson (2-3, 4.53 ERA), who owns a 1.96 ERA over 17 career appearances against the Mariners, will pitch for the A's. The Mariners will send Mike Leake (8-7, 4.11 ERA) to the mound.

Eric He is a reporter for MLB.com based in Oakland.

Oakland Athletics

Chapman reaches over tarp for spectacular grab

MLB.com @JaneMLB

OAKLAND -- The A's resident defensive wizard made terrific use of the tarp for his latest trick Tuesday.

Third baseman Matt Chapman, who has made a nightly habit out of igniting oohs and aahs, raced through the Coliseum's expansive foul territory for a remarkable reaching catch over the tarp.

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OAKLAND -- The A's resident defensive wizard made terrific use of the tarp for his latest trick Tuesday.

Third baseman Matt Chapman, who has made a nightly habit out of igniting oohs and aahs, raced through the Coliseum's expansive foul territory for a remarkable reaching catch over the tarp.

View Full Game Coverage

His defensive doings, which sent the Mariners' Robinson Cano back to the visiting dugout, capped a scoreless eighth inning for Fernando Rodney in a 3-2 A's win that brought them within just one game of the first-place Astros in the American League West.

"Just out there expecting the ball to be hit in my direction, and as soon as I saw it off the bat I thought it had a good chance of staying in fair territory, so I just kind of went after it," Chapman said. "I was thinking that if it was going to go even in the rows in the stands I was gonna go for it."

"That's a will to catch the baseball," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "He wasn't going to be denied. If he had to go through the tarp … I think that was his mindset. He's got quite the will to win, to have a good at-bat, make a nice play, all of the above. He's quite a competitor."

Video: Josh Donaldson's two amazing tarp catches

Chapman led off the bottom of the inning with a double, reaching base a second time on the night to extend his AL-leading on-base streak to 28 games. His Gold Glove-caliber defense has been with him every step of the way.

The infielder's latest acrobatic act ignited memories of a pair of similar grabs over the tarp made by former A's third baseman Josh Donaldson.

"There's so much room out there, so honestly anything that's hit in the air you kind of just expect to have a chance at it," Chapman said. "So I've just kind of created a habit of just going for it, and you kind of peel off if it's too far, but it gives you a chance to catch balls like that. You don't want to give guys like Robinson Cano any extra strikes or swings. He can hurt you with one swing of the bat, so I definitely wanted to get that out."

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.

Oakland Athletics, Matt Chapman

Best August trade in A's franchise history

MLB.com

While the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline rightfully garners the lion's share of attention when it comes to each year's trade season, there have been numerous deals struck during the month of August that have been impactful down the stretch and in subsequent years. Here's a look at the best August trade each team has ever made:

ANGELS
Acquired: LF Justin Upton from DET
Gave up: RHP Grayson Long and a player to be named or cash
Date: Aug. 31, 2017
The Angels acquired Upton in the midst of their playoff push last season, giving the club a middle-of-the-order bat to slot behind Mike Trout in their lineup. While the Angels ultimately fell short in the American League Wild Card race, Upton posted an .887 OPS with seven home runs in 27 games before deciding to re-sign with the club on a five-year, $106 million deal during the offseason. 

While the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline rightfully garners the lion's share of attention when it comes to each year's trade season, there have been numerous deals struck during the month of August that have been impactful down the stretch and in subsequent years. Here's a look at the best August trade each team has ever made:

ANGELS
Acquired: LF Justin Upton from DET
Gave up: RHP Grayson Long and a player to be named or cash
Date: Aug. 31, 2017
The Angels acquired Upton in the midst of their playoff push last season, giving the club a middle-of-the-order bat to slot behind Mike Trout in their lineup. While the Angels ultimately fell short in the American League Wild Card race, Upton posted an .887 OPS with seven home runs in 27 games before deciding to re-sign with the club on a five-year, $106 million deal during the offseason. 

ASTROS
Acquired: 3B Jeff Bagwell from BOS
Gave up: RHP Larry Andersen
Date: Aug. 30, 1990
As impactful as the Astros' trade was last year to land Justin Verlander, the club's 1990 trade netted a player who would don an Astros uniform for all 15 years of his Major League career and end up in the Hall of Fame. Bagwell is the greatest slugger in Astros history, winning the 1991 National League Rookie of the Year Award and the 1994 NL Most Valuable Player Award, being named to four All-Star teams and belting 449 career home runs. The first baseman led a resurgence of baseball in Houston in the 1990s and helped take the franchise to new heights in the early 2000s.

Video: Jeff Bagwell reflects on conversation with Andersen

Andersen was a 16-year-veteran who had a 1.95 ERA in 50 appearances on the season for Houston at the time of the trade. With Bagwell, a third baseman at the time, blocked by future Hall of Famer Wade Boggs at the position, Boston made the deal for a reliever who would appear in 15 games with a 1.23 ERA. That winter, Andersen signed as a free agent with the Padres, and pitched for two seasons with San Diego before his final two seasons with the Phillies.

ATHLETICS
Acquired: SS Stephen Drew from ARI
Gave up: INF Sean Jamieson
Date: Aug. 20, 2012
The A's might have outdone themselves this year with the additions of relievers Fernando Rodney and Shawn Kelley, but their 2012 trade for Drew gave them a significant upgrade at shortstop, which was a vital piece at the time. Drew collected 16 RBIs in 39 regular-season games, then came up with four hits in 19 at-bats during the AL Division Series against the Tigers, including an RBI double in a one-run Game 4 victory that sent the series to a winner-take-all affair.

BLUE JAYS
Acquired: 3B/OF Jose Bautista from PIT
Gave up: C Robinson Diaz
Date: Aug. 21, 2008
The Blue Jays weren't expecting big things from Bautista, but they needed a temporary replacement for the injured Scott Rolen and he fit the bill. Toronto had to part only with a fringe prospect to get the deal done, and his versatility at first base, right field and second base kept Bautista on the team even after Rolen returned. Two years later, Bautista made franchise history by hitting 54 home runs in a single season, and he ultimately turned into one of the best players to ever wear the blue and white.

Video: TEX@TOR Gm5: Bautista hammers go-ahead three-run shot

BRAVES
Acquired: RHP John Smoltz from DET
Gave up: RHP Doyle Alexander
Date: Aug. 12, 1987
The Tigers won each of Alexander's 11 remaining regular-season starts and captured the American League East title in 1987; the 36-year-old would pitch two more seasons for Detroit, including an All-Star campaign in '88. Meanwhile, Smoltz was just a year removed from high school ball, but would end up constructing a Hall of Fame career as he helped the Braves win 14 consecutive division crowns and the 1995 World Series. He also won the NL Cy Young Award in 1996, and was an eight-time All Star, becoming one of the most successful postseason pitchers in baseball history with a 2.67 ERA over 41 appearances, and the 1992 NL Championship Series MVP Award. A year earlier, he tossed a six-hit shutout of the Pirates in Game 7 of the NLCS to send Atlanta to its first World Series.

Video: 1991 NLCS Gm7: Smoltz shuts the door, Braves to WS

BREWERS
Acquired: RHP Don Sutton from HOU
Gave up: Players to be named and cash (OF Kevin Bass and pitchers Frank DiPino and Mike Madden)
Date: Aug. 30, 1982
Bass went on to have a solid 14-year career but the deal was worth it to land Sutton, the future Hall of Famer who represented the final piece of the finest team in Brewers history. Sutton's shining moment for Milwaukee was the '82 regular-season finale in Baltimore, when he allowed two runs in eight innings of a must-win game opposite Orioles ace Jim Palmer. It clinched the American League East and moved the Brewers a step closer to their only World Series appearance to date.

CARDINALS
Acquired: OF Larry Walker from COL
Gave up: RHP Jason Burch, LHP Luis Martinez and LHP Chris Narveson
Date: Aug. 6, 2004
In the penultimate year of Walker's career, he accepted a trade to the Cardinals and then helped the club reach the World Series. After hitting .280/.393/.560 with 11 homers in 44 regular-season games, Walker hit six homers and slugged .707 in his second postseason appearance.

CUBS
Acquired: 1B Randall Simon from PIT
Gave up: OF Ray Sadler
Date: Aug. 17, 2003
The Cubs had made a blockbuster deal at the non-waiver Trade Deadline to get Aramis Ramirez and Kenny Lofton from the Pirates, then added Simon, who batted .282 with six home runs and 21 RBIs in 33 games. Simon provided the spark and the Cubs went 24-16 after he joined the team to win the NL Central. Simon would go on to hit .333 (8-for-24) with three doubles and a homer in the postseason.

D-BACKS
Acquired: RHP Livan Hernandez and cash from WAS
Gave up: LHP Matt Chico; RHP Garrett Mock
Date: Aug. 7, 2006
While Hernandez didn't pitch the D-backs to the postseason in 2006, he did stick around to be a valuable contributor and staff leader the following year when the D-backs won the NL West and swept the Cubs in the NLDS before losing to the Rockies in the NLCS.

DODGERS
Acquired: 1B Adrian Gonzalez, RHP Josh Beckett, OF Carl Crawford, INF Nick Punto and cash from BOS
Gave up: INF Ivan De Jesus, 1B James Loney, RHP Allen Webster, RHP Rubby De La Rosa and OF Jerry Sands
Date: Aug. 25, 2012
The word "blockbuster" is overused, but it should be defined by this nine-player trade. Guggenheim's new Dodgers ownership made a credibility statement that the tight-fisted ways of the McCourt era were over. The Dodgers never won a World Series because of it, but the veterans helped the club compete while buying time for young talent to mature. None of the prospects dealt away panned out, but Boston won a World Series anyway and dumped $262 million in salary.

GIANTS
Acquired: RHP Rick Reuschel from PIT
Gave up: RHPs Jeff Robinson and Scott Medvin
Date: Aug. 21, 1987
Reuschel stabilized the Giants' starting rotation, going 5-3 down the stretch to help San Francisco win the NL West for the first time since 1971. "Big Daddy" also finished 36-19 in the next two seasons and was the staff ace when the Giants reached the World Series in 1989.

INDIANS
Acquired: SP Mike Clevinger from LAA
Gave up: RP Vinnie Pestano
Date: Aug. 7, 2014
The Angels wanted a reliever for the stretch run, so they added Pestano and dealt Clevinger (a prospect with mechanical flaws and in the early stages of a Tommy John surgery comeback). Clevinger was a project, but he went to work with the Indians, rebuilt his delivery, broke into the Majors in '16 and is now fixture in one of baseball's best rotations. Pestano hasn't pitched in the Majors since '15, and Clevinger has a 3.59 ERA in 67 career appearances for Cleveland (54 starts).

Video: CLE@BAL: Clevinger dominates O's with two-hit shutout

MARINERS
Acquired: LF Vince Coleman from KC
Gave up: RHP Jim Converse
Date: Aug. 15, 1995
The Mariners immediately inserted the veteran speedster as their leadoff hitter for the final month and a half of their magical 1995 season, and he provided a huge spark. When Coleman was acquired by general manager Woody Woodward, Seattle was 51-50 and 12 1/2 games back in the AL West. It wound up winning the division and earning the first playoff berth in franchise history as the 33-year-old posted a .290/.335/.395 line with 16 stolen bases and 27 runs in 40 games.

MARLINS
Acquired: 1B/OF Jeff Conine from BAL
Gave up: RHP Denny Bautista, RHP Don Levinski
Date: Aug. 31, 2003
Pursuing the lone NL Wild Card spot at the time, the Marlins acquired Conine minutes before the midnight waiver deadline, with the deal completed while the veteran was on the Orioles' team plane. The Marlins were desperate for an established veteran the day after All-Star Mike Lowell broke his left hand. Conine hit five home runs and drove in 15 runs in September, and made an impact in the playoffs during the Marlins' World Series championship season.

Video: 2003 NLCS Gm5: Jeff Conine hits a solo home run

METS
Acquired: 2B Jeff Kent and a player to be named (OF Ryan Thompson) from TOR
Gave up: RHP David Cone
Date: Aug. 27, 1992
With the Mets well out of NL East contention and Cone set to become a free agent after the season, the team shipped him to the Blue Jays for Kent -- then just 24 years old. Although Kent would not develop into a National League MVP until after the Mets parted ways with him, he hit 67 of his 377 career homers over parts of five seasons in New York. Cone, meanwhile, went on to post a 2.55 ERA in eight appearances (seven starts) down the stretch for Toronto, helping the franchise win its first World Series title with a 3.22 ERA in four postseason starts.

NATIONALS
Acquired: Catcher Kurt Suzuki and cash considerations from OAK
Gave up: catcher David Freitas
Date: Aug. 3, 2012
On their way to their first postseason berth in club history, the Nats made the upgrade behind the dish for a veteran behind the plate. Suzuki would go on to bat .267/.321/.404 in 43 games with Washington down the stretch and served as the starting catcher in the postseason before he struggled at the start of the 2013 season and was traded back to Oakland.

ORIOLES
Acquired: OF Tito Landrum from STL
Gave up: Landrum was the player to be named from a deal made on June 14, 1983, in which the Orioles sent Floyd Rayford to St. Louis.
Date: Aug. 31, 1983
Landrum hit the game-winning home run for the Orioles in the final game of the 1983 ALCS in Chicago. He was such an unlikely hero that teammate John Lowenstein joked that he was not sure of Landrum's first name.

PADRES
Acquired: Brian Giles from PIT
Gave up: Jason Bay, Oliver Perez and LHP Cory Stewart
Date: Aug. 26, 2003
On the whole, this trade turned out pretty even. But there's no denying Giles' impact on the back-to-back NL West champion Padres teams in 2005 and '06. In parts of seven seasons with San Diego, Giles batted .279/.380/.435 with 83 homers. Bay would go on to have an 11-year MLB career over which he hit 222 homers, including 139 for Pittsburgh. Still, the trade helped San Diego get to the postseason in back-to-back years, and was worth the price.

PHILLIES
Acquired: RHP Jamie Moyer from SEA
Gave up: RHP Andrew Baldwin and RHP Andy Barb
Date: Aug. 19, 2006
The Phillies held a fire sale before July 31, 2006, trading Bobby Abreu, Cory Lidle, David Bell and Rheal Cormier, and designating Ryan Franklin for assignment. But afterward, the Phillies started to play well and acquired Moyer for an unexpected postseason run. They fell short in 2006, but Moyer helped the Phillies win the NL East in 2007 and the World Series in 2008.

PIRATES
Acquired: OF Jason Bay, LHP Oliver Perez and LHP Cory Stewart from SD
Gave up: OF Brian Giles
Date: Aug. 26, 2003
The deal worked out well for both sides, as Giles continued to produce in San Diego and finished ninth in NL MVP voting in 2005. But Bay was worth the price, winning the 2004 NL Rookie of the Year Award before earning two All-Star nods with Pittsburgh. Perez was also dominant in 2004 (12-10, 2.98 ERA, 239 strikeouts), and he's still pitching in the Majors as a reliever. 

Video: CHC@PIT: Bay records eight RBIs including grand slam

RANGERS
Acquired: RHP John Burkett from FLA
Gave up: RHP Rick Helling and RHP Ryan Dempster
Date: Aug. 8, 1996
This is the trade that put the Rangers over the top on their way to the first division title in franchise history. Burkett, reinforcing the rotation, threw a shutout against the Blue Jays in his first start and his biggest victory came on Sept. 21. The Rangers had lost five in a row and nine of 10 as their lead was down to one game. But Burkett pitched the Rangers to a 7-1 victory over the Angels in Anaheim to stop their skid for one of the biggest regular-season wins in franchise history. Dempster and Helling -- both prospects at the time -- went on to distinguished careers, but the price was worth it for Texas.

RAYS
Acquired: RHP Chad Bradford from BAL
Gave up: Cash
Date: Aug. 7, 2008
Bradford arrived to give the Rays a different look to their bullpen. The submariner of "Moneyball" fame appeared in 21 games and pitched to a 1.42 ERA. He made seven postseason appearances for the Rays, logging a 1.13 ERA in eight innings.

RED SOX
Acquired: INF Ivan DeJesus, 1B James Loney, RHP Allen Webster, RHP Rubby De La Rosa, and OF/1B Jerry Sands from LAD
Gave up: 1B Adrian Gonzalez, RHP Josh Beckett, OF Carl Crawford, INF Nick Punto.and cash
Date: Aug. 25, 2012
On paper, the Red Sox gave up three former All-Stars and received little in return. In reality, the club shed more than $250 million in guaranteed salary for players who were no longer performing at their prime levels. This trade is widely credited as one of the reasons for the Sox winning the World Series in 2013. General manager Ben Cherington used the newfound payroll flexibility to re-tool with free agents Mike Napoli, Shane Victorino, Koji Uehara, Ryan Dempster and David Ross. Those players fit perfectly on the field and in the clubhouse.

REDS
Acquired: 1B/manager Pete Rose from MON
Gave up: INF Tom Lawless
Date: Aug. 16, 1984
In a stunning move, the Reds brought back a hometown favorite in Rose to take on the rare role of player-manager. The deal immediately energized the Cincinnati fan base after losing seasons from 1982-84. Not only did Rose the player break Ty Cobb's all-time hits record in 1985 to great fanfare, Rose the manager was at the helm for a contender that had four straight second-place finishes from 1985-88. That helped create the foundation for the 1990 World Series title season.

ROCKIES
Acquired:RHP Jose Contreras from CWS
Gave up: Minor League RHP Brandon Hynick
Date: Aug. 31, 2009
Contreras went 1-0 with a 1.59 ERA in seven games, including two starts, and was one of two key veteran August pickups. The Rockies also picked up Jason Giambi, who had been released earlier in the month by the Athletics. Giambi hit .292 in 19 games as he and Contreras helped push the Rockies into the postseason as the NL Wild Card team.

ROYALS
Acquired: OF Josh Willingham from MIN
Gave up: Right-hander Jason Adam
Date: Aug. 11, 2014
It wasn't a blockbuster deal, but Willingham will be forever in Royals lore. He singled (his last big league hit) to spark a ninth-inning rally in the 2014 AL Wild Card game that tied the score. The Royals went on to win the game, the first off 11 straight playoff wins that year, and eventually advance to Game 7 of the 2014 World Series.

TIGERS
Acquired: OF Delmon Young from MIN
Gave up: LHP Cole Nelson, RHP Lester Oliveros
Date: Aug. 15, 2011
Young homered three times in the Tigers' 2011 ALDS win over the Yankees, then hit two more in the ALCS vs. Texas. A year later, he was named MVP of the ALCS after going 6-for-17 with two homers and six RBIs. He went 5-for-14 with a solo homer in the 2012 World Series against the Giants.

TWINS
Acquired: RHP Bert Blyleven from CLE
Gave up: INF Jay Bell, LHP Curt Wardle, OF Jim Weaver and a player to be named (RHP Rich Yett on Sept. 18, 1985)
Date: Aug. 1, 1985
The Twins reacquired future Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven in an August trade, as he had previously pitched in Minnesota from 1970-76. Blyleven made 120 starts with the Twins after the trade, including helping the franchise to its first World Series title in 1987. Bell went on to a solid 18-year career, but the Twins had Greg Gagne entrenched at shortstop at the time of the trade.

WHITE SOX
Acquired: 1B Ted Kluszewski from PIT
Gave up: Minor League IF Robert Sagers and RF/1B Harry Simpson
Date: Aug. 25, 1959
Nearing the end of his career, Kluszewski hit .297 with two home runs and 10 RBIs over 112 plate appearances and 31 games in the regular season for the AL champs. But the Big Klu hit .391 with three homers and 10 RBIs during a six-game World Series loss to the Dodgers.

YANKEES
Acquired: 3B Charlie Hayes from PIT
Gave up: RHP Chris Corn
Date: Aug. 30, 1996
Hayes rejoined the Yankees just in time for the birth of a dynasty, batting .284 in 20 games for his new team to supplement a fatigued Wade Boggs' production at the hot corner. Hayes was on the field to secure the final out of the World Series, a foul pop behind third base off the bat of the Braves' Mark Lemke. Corn never advanced past Double-A.

Video: WS1996 Gm6: Sterling, Kay call Yanks World Series win

Chapman elaborates on fan support message

MLB.com @JaneMLB

OAKLAND -- Matt Chapman's earnest appeal for a boost in support at the Coliseum is all over the internet. The more views, the better, Chapman maintains.

"I got some text messages from friends and people that I haven't played with in a long time that live in the Bay Area and said they saw it and they loved it and they're coming to the game," Chapman said. "Every little bit helps."

View Full Game Coverage

OAKLAND -- Matt Chapman's earnest appeal for a boost in support at the Coliseum is all over the internet. The more views, the better, Chapman maintains.

"I got some text messages from friends and people that I haven't played with in a long time that live in the Bay Area and said they saw it and they loved it and they're coming to the game," Chapman said. "Every little bit helps."

View Full Game Coverage

Unprompted at the conclusion of his postgame interview with NBC Sports California following the A's 7-6 win over the Mariners on Monday night, the team's third baseman used the platform to send a pointed message:

"I just want to use this time also to just encourage people in Oakland to come out, man," Chapman said. "All the fans and support we can get, we would really appreciate it. Tonight, we're fighting until the very end against the Mariners, and I just wish we could get some more people out here. We're fun to watch, and we really want our fans to come out and support us. It would be great."

Tweet from @mattolson21: 👇 yeah what he said https://t.co/oPdp39H8Ir

The A's have struggled to draw big crowds at the Coliseum for years; they're averaging 18,409 per game this season -- third fewest in the Majors behind Tampa (14,683) and Miami (9,677) -- and drew just 10,400 for a meaningful matchup between a pair of postseason contenders Monday night.

The 25-year-old Chapman, old school in his approach and never afraid to speak his mind despite having just 187 career games under his belt, responded with a public petition on behalf of his A's, who have a 2 1/2-game lead over the Mariners for the second American League Wild Card spot and trail first-place Houston by just two games in the AL West.

Their 37-12 record since June 16 is tied with Boston for tops in baseball.

"Just pointing out the fact that yesterday was a big game and we would love to have more people there," Chapman said Tuesday. "It wasn't me saying we don't have a lot of fans. I'm not calling anybody out. I don't want anybody to think that. I just want it to be positive. I'm not afraid to say my opinion, and it's not like I have anything bad to say. I just wanted to use it as a platform to encourage people to come out. We've been playing good baseball, and I feel like we're putting on good entertainment. I don't know what else people could ask for."

"It was perfect," A's designated hitter Khris Davis said of his teammate's message. "I agree. I want to see the fans getting into it and seeing bigger crowds. That puts a little more edge on our psyche and, for the opponent, it's intimidating here when there's a lot of fans. The fans were into it last night. They were loud, but imagine it with a full house."

Chapman is offering much to cheer about these days. The infielder is matching his Gold Glove-caliber defense with a booming bat, hitting .375 with a 1.190 OPS since the All-Star break. He's a superstar in the making, just like the A's envisioned, but he's often going about his work in front of small-scale crowds.

"He just wants to play in front of a big crowd," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "We've had some terrific crowds here this year, and guys just like playing in front of big crowds, so I don't blame him. He's just trying to encourage the fan base to come out and support us. When we have a full house here, it inspires us, and our fans are as loud as any in baseball."

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.

Oakland Athletics, Matt Chapman