Cole Irvin has been one of the Oakland A’s pleasant surprises this season. Although nothing had been expected after his contract was purchased from the Phillies, he has been an excellent back of the rotation arm, doing far better than anyone could have imagined. That is, when Irvin is not facing the Seattle Mariners.
Irvin struggled again in his outing against the Mariners on Tuesday. He lasted just three innings, allowing three runs on seven hits and two walks, failing to strike out a batter. It was a disastrous outing, and one that the A’s desperately needed to have a different outcome.
Seattle Mariners have Cole Irvin’s number
Prior to his outing on Tuesday, Irvin had put together a solid season for the A’s. His 9-11 record did not do justice to his strong performance, as Irvin had posted a 3.57 ERA and a 1.210 WHiP over his 141.1 innings. Although he had just 97 strikeouts, he had also issued only 29 walks as his ability to limit hard contact had worked well.
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He has not had anything close to that same level of success against the Mariners. Including his outing on Tuesday, Irvin has allowed 11 runs on 22 hits and four walks over 11.2 innings, striking out five batters. While he has been able to keep virtually every other opponent off balance, the Mariners have had his number.
It is particularly notable that he has struggled against Seattle given his reaction to his outing on May 25. After the game, Irvin had said that “A team like that shouldn’t be putting up ten hits against me or anyone.” If the Mariners needed any additional motivation against Irvin as they attempt to chase down the A’s for a playoff berth, that quote would certainly do it.
The A’s are not done with the Mariners. They have a pair of three game sets over the final nine games of the season, games that could make a major difference to the A’s playoff hopes. Irvin may be able to get his revenge down the stretch. Or, given his issues against the Mariners, that outing could spell disaster.
There are some teams that just have success against a certain player. For Cole Irvin, the Seattle Mariners are the team that has his number.