A’s lose 40th game, nearly matching modern MLB record

119 years. That’s how long it has been since any team in MLB history has lost with more frequency through 50 games than this season’s Oakland Athletics.

The A’s 3-2 loss to the Mariners on Tuesday was their 40th against 10 wins. Only one other team in modern baseball history (since the 1901 season) was worse after 50 games: the 1904 Washington Senators, who started 9-41 and finished 38-113-6.

The A’s matched the second-worst 50-game start in MLB modern-era history, held by the 1932 Boston Red Sox.

Tuesday’s loss was Oakland’s sixth straight, a stretch in which the team scored 10 runs overall and never more than three in a game. 

The A’s have pitched admirably but can’t do much at the plate. During this six-game slide, four of the losses have been by either one or two runs. Oakland’s .225 batting average is tied for last in the big leagues, and the A’s have struck out 472 times, the second-worst mark in MLB.

The A’s, the only team in the AL West with a losing record, trail the fourth-place Mariners (24-24) by 15 games.

The schedule gods aren’t helping the A’s anytime soon. After two more games on the road in Seattle, which is 5-0 against Oakland this season, the A’s have back-to-back series against the past two World Series champions, the Astros and Braves.

Oakland is on pace for a 32-130 record, four fewer wins than the worst MLB team since 1900. The 1916 and 1919 A’s — then based in Philadelphia — each won 36 games. The fewest number of wins for any team in the 162-game era is 43, by the 2003 Detroit Tigers.

Unless this year’s A’s put together a huge run, and nothing suggests that will happen, Oakland could set a mountain of records for futility.