Oakland Athletics’ shortstop Marcus Semien is attempting to put his early-season struggles behind him.
But on Friday night, he received a much-needed boost courtesy of a 13th-inning walk-off base hit that extended the A’s winning streak to an MLB-best seven games.
And given the start Semien has had to the season, there wasn’t a player on the team who needed that hit more.
Through 14 games (prior to Saturday’s game), Semien is slashing just .190/.215/.238 with 20 strikeouts and just 12 hits despite a league-leading 63 at-bats. Of those 12 hits, just two of them have gone for extra bases.
Simply put, it’s been a difficult season thus far for Semien.
Marcus Semien hasn’t been able to repeat his success with the Oakland Athletics from a year ago.
Last year, Semien broke out in a huge way finishing third in the American League MVP race slashing .285/.369/.522 while totaling 33 home runs and 92 RBI.
But for whatever reason, Semien just hasn’t been able to recapture that same magic this season. And with the 29-year-old looking for a new contract sometime in the near future, he isn’t doing himself any favors.
Normally, a slow start through the first 14 games of the season wouldn’t be too troublesome. But remember, this isn’t your typical 162-game season. Despite being just 15 games into the season, the A’s have officially completed 25 percent of the campaign.
This is a sprint, not a marathon.
In terms of ratios, Semien’s cold streak would count for the first 40 games of a normal season — proportionally speaking. And for that reason, time is running out for the former Chicago White Sox shortstop to turn things around.
Perhaps his recent clutch extra-innings hit could be the impetus behind that turnaround.
The A’s currently hold an American League-best 11-4 record sitting well above the rest of the AL West. Now with an eight-game winning streak following another victory over the Houston Astros on Saturday, that lead has been extended.
And who helped the A’s score yet another win over Houston? None other than Marcus Semien who finished 2-for-4 on the day with an RBI and two runs scored. Those two runs proved to be the difference in a slim 3-1 victory.
Semien appears to have found his stroke and for an A’s team that continues to rack up victories, it couldn’t have come at a better time.