Getting named to another AL All-Star team may have finally convinced Justin Duchscherer that he is one of the top pitchers in baseball.
Duchscherer (9-5, 1.96 ERA), who has the lowest ERA in baseball, appeared to be surprised to be named to next Tuesday’s All-Star game at Yankee Stadium following an outstanding six-game stretch in which he’s gone 5-1 with a 1.62 ERA.
“We haven’t had more than one All-Star (since 2004),” Duchscherer told the team’s official Web site. “And I seriously thought that if we were only getting one again, it’d probably be (Rich) Harden.
“I thought the players would vote him in. They can’t hit him, so I thought they’d at least vote for him.”
It’s Duchscherer, however, who is holding opponents to a .198 batting average, tying Toronto’s Shaun Marcum for the lowest mark in the majors. He earned his second All-Star nod after representing the A’s (48-41) as a reliever in 2005.
“He deserves a spot on the All-Star team for what he’s done,” A’s manager Bob Geren said. “I don’t know how many people have made it as a reliever and made it as a starter, but … it’s quite an accomplishment. It really is two different jobs.”
Duchscherer, who is in his first season as a full-time starter, was impressive again Thursday, allowing two runs and five hits in seven innings of a 3-2 win over the Chicago White Sox.
The right-hander, though, is 0-5 with a 4.17 ERA in 30 games - three starts - against Seattle (35-54). He’s lost all three of those starts while posting a 7.82 ERA. That includes a 5-3 loss against the Mariners on April 26, when he yielded two runs and six hits in five innings as the offense mustered five hits.
The A’s beat Seattle 4-3 in Monday’s opener as Wes Bankston went 2-for-3, hit his first career homer and drove in two runs.
The rookie first baseman is 9-for-23 (.391) with a homer and three RBIs in six games since having his contract purchased from Triple-A Sacramento last Wednesday.
“To finally get here, it’s been an amazing past week,” said Bankston, who spent six seasons in the minors before getting called up by Oakland last Wednesday when shortstop Bobby Crosby went on the disabled list. “All the hard work you go through to get to this point, it’s pretty special. Now I just have to work even harder to stay here.”
The Mariners, owners of the worst record in the AL, had 11 hits Monday and stranded 10 runners. They have left at least nine runners on base in five of their last seven games.
Seattle is hitting a league-low .235 with runners in scoring position.
The Mariners will give the ball to Carlos Silva (4-10, 5.85) as he looks to win for only the second time in 15 starts.
The right-hander is 1-10 with a 7.02 ERA in his last 14 games after going 3-0 with a 2.79 ERA in his first four starts of 2008.
One of those victories came at Oakland on April 17 when he allowed one run and four hits in seven innings of an 8-1 win. Overall, Silva is 4-2 with a 2.92 ERA in 10 games—nine starts—against the A’s.
Silva didn’t fare well Thursday, getting reached for five runs in five innings of an 8-4 loss to Detroit.