SEATTLE — Cracking the 100-RBI mark was a load off Khris Davis’ shoulders.
He’d been stuck on 99 through six consecutive games before launching his 41st homer in the sixth inning Wednesday against the Angels, making him the 17th player in Oakland history to reach 100 RBI but the first since Frank Thomas drove in 114 in 2006.
“This game’s mental, and that’s the kind of things we deal with as players,” Davis said before Thursday’s game against the Mariners. “The numbers are always in our faces. It’s on the scoreboard, it’s everywhere. Just to get it off my back a little, it’s a breath of fresh air.”
But asked whether reaching 40 homers or 100 RBI was a bigger deal to him, Davis doesn’t hesitate. He thinks going deep 40 times is the greater accomplishment. As the A’s cleanup hitter most of the season, he said driving in runs consistently is a primary job requirement.
“I should (rack up a lot of RBI),” he said. “I feel like that’s how it should be, right? I think 75 would be way too low.”
Davis’ 41 homers rank No. 8 on Oakland’s single-season list. With one more, he’ll tie Jose Canseco (1988) and Mark McGwire (1992) for sixth place.
The Mariners entered Thursday’s series opener two games behind Baltimore for the American League’s second Wild Card spot. As the A’s took batting practice, the Orioles-Blue Jays game played on Safeco Field’s JumboTron.
The Hot Stove is lighting up.
The Yankees have acquired starting pitcher James Paxton from the Mariners for three prospects: Yankees No. 1 pitching prospect Justus Sheffield, outfielder Don-Thompson Williams and right-handed pitcher and Erik Swanson.
He will join a rotation that includes Luis Severino, CC Sabathia and Masahiro Tanaka. Not bad.
And what does that mean for Bay Area teams? Well -- the A's get a slight confidence boost knowing Seattle has one less threat in the American League West. Which is good considering the lefty was throwing his career-best 11.68 K/9 rating in 2018 . His ERA spiked slightly, but he had an insane amount of power he was throwing to last season. But that didn't stop him from tossing a no-hitter on May 8, becoming the first Canadian pitcher to do so.
Oh, and an eagle landed on him, too:
Pretty sure no other pitcher can say that.
It appears the original report on former A's catcher Kurt Suzuki possibly making a return to Oakland will not come to fruition.
According to MLB.com executive reporter Mark Feinsand, the 12-year veteran catcher has agreed to a two-year contract with the Nationals.
The details of the deal, according to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal:
Suzuki spent two seasons with the Nats, where he slashed .239/.297/.344 with eight home runs and 50 RBI in 122 games in 2012 and 2013. He was acquired from the A's by Washington in 2012.
The San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser originally reported the 35-year-old was approached by the A's about a possible one-year deal next season after he recently was granted free agency by the Braves.