Athletics

A's set franchise record with seventh straight multi-homer game

A's set franchise record with seventh straight multi-homer game

We knew this A's lineup could hit for power, and although their bullpen blew the lead in an 8-7 loss Sunday to the Texas Rangers, there's no question Oakland's offense is the story early in the season.

Here are five wild facts about the power surge:

1. The A's have hit two or more home runs in seven consecutive games, setting a franchise record.

Stephen Piscotty and Matt Chapman went deep in the loss at Texas. Within the streak, the A's hit five home runs in back-to-back games Wednesday and Thursday in Baltimore, just the second time the franchise has accomplished that feat.

2. Oakland has hit 21 home runs in its last seven games, more than 19 teams have hit all season.

During their seven-game multi-home run streak, the A's have belted 21 total homers. That's more than 19 MLB teams have hit all season. The 21 long balls consisted of 12 solo shots, eight two-run homers and a three-run blast.

Oakland has scored 58 total runs in those seven games, an average of more than eight per contest.

3. The A's have hit 14 home runs in their last four games, more than five teams have hit all season.

Oakland really picked up the power beginning Wednesday in Baltimore, blasting five home runs in back-to-back games. They have hit 14 homers in their last four games, which is more than the Detroit Tigers, Colorado Rockies, Cleveland Indians, Pittsburgh Pirates and Giants have hit all season. Khris Davis has accounted for five of those 14 blasts.

4. Oakland is on pace to hit 307 home runs this season.

Last season, the New York Yankees set an MLB record with 267 homers. The A's are on pace to shatter that mark. Through 19 games, Oakland has crushed 36 homers, putting them on pace for 307 this season.

The Seattle Mariners actually lead the majors with 39 homers.

[RELATED: Jurickson Profar reflects on time with Rangers]

5. Davis leads MLB with 10 home runs, more than the Tigers have hit as a team.

Davis led the majors with 48 homers last season, and his 10 round-trippers this year again top the leaderboard. Incredibly, KD has hit more home runs than the entire Tigers team. Davis also is tied with the Rockies.

Why Jake Diekman's command issues could mean A's move on in offseason

diekmanusatsi.jpg
USATSI

Why Jake Diekman's command issues could mean A's move on in offseason

Editor's note: Over the next two weeks, we will examine 10 A's players who might or might not return to Oakland next season. For each player, we will provide reasons why the A's should bring him back and reasons why they should not, followed by a final determination.

Jake Diekman, LHP

Contract: $5.75 million mutual option for 2020 ($500,000 buyout)

Reasons to bring him back

Diekman's stuff is undeniable. The 32-year-old left-hander boasts a 96-mph fastball along with a wicked slider, making him a tricky at-bat for right-handed and left-handed hitters alike.

Despite a 1-7 record and 4.65 ERA this season, Diekman notched 84 strikeouts in just 62 innings. For his career, he has averaged 11.2 punchouts per nine innings.

Another reason to keep Diekman is Oakland's lack of left-handed relievers. Jesús Luzardo and A.J. Puk both figure to move to the starting rotation next year and Ryan Buchter's return is far from certain. As a result, Diekman could be the only southpaw in the A's bullpen.

Reasons to let him go

While Diekman's strikeout numbers were highly impressive, his lack of command became a major issue down the stretch. He walked 39 batters this season, including 16 in 20 1/3 innings with the A's.

That contributed significantly to Diekman's disappointing 1.42 WHIP and 4.65 ERA. For $5.75 million, you'd have to think the A's would want someone more consistent and reliable in the late innings.

[RELATED: A's 3B coach Williams will manage in Korea next season]

Final verdict

Oakland is unlikely to bring Diekman back next season for a couple of reasons. Far too often, he just doesn't know where his pitches are going. Throughout his career, Diekman has averaged five walks per nine innings. That's a serious problem for a setup man.

The other factor is Diekman's $5.75 million price tag. That is a high figure for any non-closer, but particularly worrisome for a setup man who has proven to be inconsistent.

The A's would probably be wise to spend that money elsewhere.

Ex-Giant, A's third base coach Matt Williams will next manage in Korea

williamsusatsi.jpg
USATSI

Ex-Giant, A's third base coach Matt Williams will next manage in Korea

The A's coaching staff could look much different next season. 

A source told NBC Sports Bay Area's Alex Pavlovic that quality control coach Mark Kotsay interviewed for the Giants' managerial opening, the San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser reported Monday that bench coach Ryan Christenson is a candidate for the Pittsburgh Pirates and third base coach Matt Williams has a new job lined up. 

Williams confirmed to NBC Sports California's Ben Ross in a text message that he will manage the Kia Tigers in Korea's KBO next season. MLB Network's Jon Heyman first reported the news, and Slusser was the first to confirm Heyman's report. 

The A's hired Williams in November 2017. He previously managed the Washington Nationals from 2014 through 2015, winning National League Manager of the Year in his first season in Washington's dugout. The 17-year MLB veteran compiled a 179-145 record as a manager, but Williams was fired by the Nationals after his second season with the team. Williams, who played for the Giants for 10 seasons, covered San Francisco as a studio analyst for NBC Sports Bay Area in 2017 after serving as the Arizona Diamondbacks' third base coach in 2016.

[RELATED: A's Stay or Go candidate for 2020 season: Ryan Buchter] 

Oakland made the playoffs in both of Williams' seasons as third base coach, losing in the AL Wild Card Game each time. 2018 and 2019 marked just the fifth time the A's qualified for the playoffs in consecutive seasons since moving to Oakland.

If the A's are going to play in the postseason again next October, they're likely to have some new faces in the dugout and in the third-base box.