Joyce’s 100th strikeout makes 1,300 for A’s this season

With a fastball registered at 96 mph on the in-stadium speed gun, Houston hurler Charlie Morton blew away Athletics outfielder Matt Joyce for the second out in the second inning.

It was the second whiff of the day for Joyce, and No. 100 on the season. While neither of those numbers stoke much surprise, it was the team total the second inning’s second out reached that does.

Joyce’s swinging strikeout was No. 1,300 on the season for Oakland, marking the first time reaching that dubious mark in franchise history. Entering the season, no Athletics team had gone down on strikes more than the 1,226 times of the 2008 group.

The outfielder became the third Athletic with 100 or more strikeouts in 2017, joining Ryon Healy, who went down four times Saturday giving him 130, and Khris Davis, whose 185 is enough for the second-highest total in the American League. Jed Lowrie (87) and Matt Chapman (76), who was called up in mid-June, are each on pace on pace to join the A’s 100-whiff club.

Davis is fast approaching Oakland’s individual single season strikeout record, set by Jack Cust with 197 whiffs in 2008, though he will fall well shy of the major league record of 223, set by Mark Reynolds in 2009.

But, to be fair, Davis is also on pace to become the first A’s player to mash 40 home runs — currently at 39 — in back-to-back season in Oakland history, and first in Athletics history dating back to the franchise’s Philadelphia days. Hall-of-Famer Jimmie Foxx was the last to do so in an A’s uniform, swatting 58, 48 and 44 between 1932 and 1934.

As a team, the A’s have launched 204 homers, good enough for fifth-most in the major leagues. The franchise record for long balls in a season is 243.

Yes, this is the most whiff-happy team in A’s history. But, led by rookies Matt Olson (16) Chapman (11) — who are 1-2 in homers by a rookie since the All-Star break with 12 and 11 respectively — along Davis and Healy (23), this team is also on the verge of being the most powerful in franchise history — a fair trade, most would agree.


Kalama Hines is SFBay’s sports director and Oakland Athletics beat writer. Follow @SFBay and @HineSight_2020 on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of A’s baseball.