With less than one month to go before the regular season ends, the Oakland A’s are currently behind the first-place Rangers by 7.0 games. The Rangers (75-62) are 3-7 over their last 10, and are currently on a four-game skid. Meanwhile the A’s are 5-5 over their last 10. The Rangers’ lead in the west is still very comfortable, but the A’s are still hanging around in the division.
The A’s young core of arms is getting better with each passing day, and as a result of their growth, the team owns the league’s 4th best ERA (3.53). Guys like Brett Anderson (4-6, 2.97 ERA), Dallas Braden (9-10, 3.23 ERA), Trevor Cahill (15-6, 2.72 ERA), and Gio Gonzalez (13-8, 3.12 ERA) have Oakland in a decent position to make a late season run for the division. Whether or not they’ll actually come close to catching Texas, however, hinges upon their offensive production.
The A’s have scored 555 runs, which ranks 25th in baseball. As a team, the A’s are currently hitting .255/.322/.375 and have hit just 88 home runs this season—the second fewest in baseball. In fact, the A’s only have three players with home runs in the double-digits: Kevin Kouzmanoff (14), Kurt Suzuki (12), and Jack Cust (10). And of those three players, only Cust has a batting average over .260 with a .276 mark entering Tuesday.
1B Daric Barton, who has been one of the few consistent players on offense, owns the highest average on the team with a .283 average. On the season, Barton has performed quite well. Through Monday, Barton has hit .283/.400/.418 with 8 home runs and 47 RBIs. Aside from the players mentioned above, the A’s have not seen much production from their offense this season.
If the A’s are serious about catching the Rangers, the offense needs to step up and produce. The A’s still have a shot to catch Texas, albeit a very small shot, so it’s literally now or never.
Tags: 2010 2010 Playoffs A's A's Offense A's Preview A's Rotation A's Starting Lineup A's Starting Pitching AL Baseball Brett Anderson Dallas Braden Daric Barton Gio Gonzalez Jack Cust Kevin Kouzmanoff Kurt Suzuki MLB NL Oakland A's Oakland Athletics Playoff Race Texas Texas Rangers Trevor Cahill