Major League Baseball’s inaugural Lou Gehrig Day will have special meaning to Stephen Piscotty.
The Oakland Athletics outfielder lost his mother, Gretchen, to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis — known as ALS — in May 2018.
It’s the same disease that claimed the life of Gehrig, the New York Yankees’ “Iron Horse,” at age 37 on June 2, 1941.
MLB will honor Gehrig on Wednesday, the same day that the A’s wrap up a three-game series at Seattle.
Piscotty and his father, Mike, have tried to raise awareness of the disease since Gretchen’s death. Mike is involved in the LG4Day committee, which pushed baseball for this special day.
Piscotty’s father and brother, Nick, are both scheduled to attend Wednesday’s game at T-Mobile Park. Mike will take part in a special pregame presentation that highlights his work in creating the ALS CURE Project.
“I’ve gotta give him a lot of props for working so hard,” Piscotty said of his father. “I know he’s going to be excited. He’s been working hard and it’s awesome to see some of these things come to life and become reality.”
Tony Kemp and Matt Olson homered to help the A’s snap a three-game losing streak with a 12-6 victory on Tuesday.
It was the 799th victory with the A’s for manager Bob Melvin, passing Tony La Russa for the most in the team’s time in Oakland. Connie Mack holds the franchise record with 3,582 wins.
“It speaks for itself,” A’s utility man Chad Pinder said of Melvin’s accomplishment. “Wins aside, just what he’s thought of as a manager among the players that have had him, you won’t find a person that speaks poorly about him. He may be my only manager that I’ve had, but he’s an incredible person and great to play for.”
The A’s are scheduled to start left-hander Sean Manaea (3-2, 3.86 ERA) in the series finale. He is 6-5 with a 3.84 ERA in 12 career starts against Seattle.
Manaea outdueled the Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani in his last start, allowing one run and striking out eight in 6 2/3 innings of a 3-1 victory.
The Mariners are set to counter with right-hander Chris Flexen (5-2, 4.34), who will be making his first career start against Oakland.
Flexen is coming off the best start of his career, in which he allowed three hits in seven shutout innings of a 5-0 victory against Texas last Thursday.
That came after his worst start, in which he lasted just 1 2/3 innings at San Diego on May 21. He yielded eight runs on 10 hits in a 16-1 defeat.
“Nothing changed, I still went through the same routine that I normally do,” Flexen said. “And the physical stuff is still there. It was just trying to get back on track and mentally stay locked in and not let that one affect you.”
Both teams will be without their starting center fielders.
Oakland’s Ramon Laureano (right hip strain) and Seattle’s Kyle Lewis (right meniscus tear), the reigning American League Rookie of the Year, were placed on the 10-day injured list Tuesday.
–Field Level Media